Training In Isolation

We are all going through some tough times right now, Corona-virus has put us in lock-down with just one trip out for exercise per day and many of us have races cancelled. Many of us, myself included had been training for spring marathons and had built our mileage up well. It’s quite right that you may have lost your way with training with no event to focus on but we must keep running for our mental health, but how do we do that with no real focus?

Virtual Events

One way is to train for a virtual event, you don’t have to sign up for anything unless you want some bling. One idea is to look for a 5k training plan, something like an 8 week 5k speed builder and then set yourself a goal of running a 5k PB in 8 weeks time, obviously alone and sticking to the rules. Setting a goal like this will help you keep on track, keep you motivated to run and stick to the structure and help to try and keep your mental health in a good place. 

I’ve just done exactly this, I found in last two weeks my training has really dropped off and I was running just when I felt like it. The thing is though, you often don’t feel like, tiredness sets in due to lack of training and you are then on the journey to totally losing your mojo. In the current situation this really isn’t a place you wan to be heading.

I enrolled on a free training plan on Zwift that I can do on my home treadmill. If you haven’t heard of Zwift you can read me article on it called Escape To Watopia.  It’s called the 5 week record breaker and will plan to get me faster at 5k distance over an 8 week period. This will keep me focused, keep me fit and most importantly keep my head in a good place.

You don’t have to use Zwift or even a treadmill, you have that opportunity to go outside once a day for exercise. A plan can easily be found online or you can just make one up your self. Set your distance, set your time goal and then plan in some training to include speed drills, longer slow runs, and maybe some hill work. Keep it changing to keep interest. Most importantly write it down, it’ll help you stick to it.

Do’s and Don’ts

To help you with my suggestion here are some do’s and don’ts to help you through these worrying times.

  • Do make a plan, write it down, keep the focus
  • Don’t just make it up focus may drift, malaise set in and you’ll lose your mojo.
  • Do keep the distance short, it’s easier to get yourself out there and motivate yourself for shorter distances.
  • Don’t be worried if you don’t complete the session, adapt it to how you are feeling and don’t be too hard on yourself but do try and keep to the general plan.
  • Don’t try and keep up pre marathon mileage, it may be some time before we are running organised marathons again. The rest will do your body good.
  • Do keep talking to the running community, talking about how you are feeling and how you are getting on will be a great help. Also helping others through these times will help you too, it’s why I write this blog. We have a great community at it’s full of runners new and seasoned and the good thing is we all understand mental health and it’s a place where you can talk about your issues without fear of ridicule.
  • Don’t watch too much news or look at too much social media, try and keep to positive things. I know it can be hard, especially if you’re like me and have a bit of an addiction to your phone, something I really need to work on.

I hope you might pick up a few tips here, it’s nothing special but just what I am trying to do so thought I would share it, I’m no expert.

The main thing is to stay home where you can, keep your 2 metre distance when you do go out and ensure you wash your hands well if you use any gates etc on your run. Stay safe people, keep on chatting and keep on moving, come and join us in the chat community too, you are all welcome.

Stay safe,


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