Having spent so many years espousing the virtues of running / walking with a group it’s rather strange to be writing a post on the benefits of going out solo!
The current Government advice is that you can go for a walk or run outdoors as long as you stay two metres than others. I know we miss being out together but I would urge all of you who are used to exercising outdoors to continue to do it for as long as it is considered safe to do so. It is great for your physical health but will do wonders for how you feel during this time of high anxiety.
The first thing to say is that you can do it, you will probably enjoy it and you’ll certainly feel loads better for it afterwards. I’ve heard lots of people saying ‘But I can’t go for a walk / run on my own’ – nonsense. I know you SE Fitness, we have trained together for years, you are much stronger and more resilient than you think. You’ve got this!
Take it easy – if you aren’t used to running or walking alone then this is not the time for ‘hard’ or ‘long’ workouts. Keeping active is good for your health and immune system but pushing yourself to your limits is not. Setting out for a gentle run or walk is much easier to face.
Start Slow – I think the main reason people don’t enjoy running alone is that they are anxious about it they ‘want to get it over with’ and set off too fast. Force yourself to go very steady for the first ten minutes, take it as a walk even, see how you are getting on and then increase the pace if you feel like it.
Stay Safe – Of course one of the reasons we prefer being with the group is that it feels safer. Choose your route carefully and stick to well lit, popular areas. Be confident and make sure you know where you are going. Carry a noise maker such as an alarm or whistle. Only wear headphones if you can still hear what is going on around you (or wear one headphone).
Be in the moment – One of the beauties of being out on your own whether walking or running is that you are much more aware of the environment around you. You can tune in to the signs of Spring unfurling after the long, wet winter. Enjoy the wind, the rain and the sunshine. Listen to the birds singing. Nature is amazing and you are part of it.
Tune in to your Leaders – We may not be with you in person but your SE Leaders we are with you in spirit! If you’re finding it hard, relax into your breathing and remember what we would say! “Walk tall” “No hands in pockets” “Run tall and light on your feet” “Small steps up the hill” “Use your arms” “All downhill from here” “Nearly home”. We’ve talked before about finding your mantra: “The next four yards” “Counting to 100” all this stuff works.
Listen to music / Listen to podcasts – As long as you can do so safely many runners find music or listening to podcasts really helpful on a lone run or walk. What’s your favourite track to run to? What’s your best podcast to listen to while you run? Message me and I’ll share your recommendations.
Warm Up and Stretch – Completing the warm up and stretch at the end is part of our SE Fitness routine. If you stick to these routines it will help you feel in the right mindset for your lone run as well as helping to keep you safe from injury.
I hope you find my tips helpful in the coming weeks but remember, I want you to enjoy your solo runs and walks but I don’t want you to enjoy them too much!