I think like everyone else in the sporting world, when lockdown was announced, I was so worried about what was going to happen with regards to my training and competitions; Would I still be able to train? Would events get cancelled? Am I going to turn into a couch potato?!…
But as the weeks went by and everybody started to adapt by turning their lounges into gyms and their bedrooms into yoga studios, I began to realise that this was actually the perfect opportunity to build up a good routine, and get into a headspace that could fully focus on the task ahead; to get as fit as I possibly could. No work, no socialising, no busy schedules, just solid training and mindful recovery.
Over the past 13 weeks (13?!?!), I’ve managed to have a regular training schedule that has been rarely disrupted or compromised, and as a result, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the way I like to train. I wanted to take this time to reflect and see what I’ve learned so that I can try to continue in this way, even when life begins to move at 150mph again!
‘The weather doesn’t look great so I might give it a miss’, ‘the gym is too busy when I want to go’. Do these excuses look familiar? Before lockdown, these were common causes for skipping sessions…However, as soon as the lockdown rules stated that you could only leave your house once a day for a form of exercise, the first thing we all did was grab our running shoes and head out the door, no matter what the conditions. And not only did we start running more, but we went for distances and paces we’d never even attempted before. This mindset of treating exercise as a privilege, rather than a punishment, and making it part of our daily routine simply because we CAN, is definitely something I don’t want to forget or ever take for granted again. I’ve started to remind myself of this each morning by telling myself, ‘I don’t have to work out today, I get to’ and it’s amazing how that shift suddenly changes your whole attitude to whatever session you have planned.
When all of my 2020 races were cancelled, I was tempted by the thought of easing up my training until I knew when they’d resume. Then I started to see my competitors Strava’s showing new PB’s and QOM’s and realised that I didn’t need a race number and ankle chip in order to push myself, I just needed to make myself my biggest competitor! I've set myself some new targets to achieve by the end of the year, and already my motivation has increased tenfold. My new goals range from being able to do 30 full press-ups in a row, to achieving a new half marathon PB, to just staying injury-free! And if you can’t think of any challenges yourself, or need some motivation, why not join one of Rokman’s challenge series?!
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FITNESS TEST 💪 . Throwback to the @rokmanuk #5kgardengrind challenge...it feels so long ago now! 🤯 . Tomorrow I'm going to be challenging myself again but this time doing a fitness test that includes press ups, sit ups and a 1.5mile sprint 🔥 @mrnjpoole is going to be filming it so you'll be able to watch me push through the pain barrier...It's not going to be pretty! 😬 . . . . #challengeaccepted #challenge #fitnessvideo #fitnesstest #training #trainhard #duathlon #duathlete #running #run #furtherfasterstronger #athlete #digdeeper
Every weekend I’ve done a long bike ride and a long run. Every Friday I’ve had a PT session and every Monday I’ve had a rest day. Having a routine where you know what’s coming is so key to staying committed. You quickly learn what your favourite sessions are, and which are the ones you want to make excuses for. Once you know this, you can build your schedule so that the tougher sessions come the day before a rest day, so it feels like you just have to do one final push before a rest, or you put your favourite sessions on the weekend so that even if your day is busy, you know you’ll always make time for them.
Find out more: Kathy's weekly workout routine >
I used to train in the evenings after work, and it was only when I had a double session, I’d force myself to get up and attack one of the sessions early on. Now that work is out of the equation, I’ve realised that I much prefer getting up in the mornings and starting my day by moving and being active. Not only does it set me up for the rest of the day, but I almost feel like a bit of pressure has been lifted off of me and I can fully relax into my evenings. When I start back at work again, it will just be a case of setting the alarm a little earlier!…
Did any of the points above resonate with you, or sound familiar? Take some time to reflect on your own lockdown journey - What were your old excuses, have these now become a thing of the past? Have you been able to challenge yourself more, why might this be?
Let us know what your new learnings have been and whether you’re going to try and carry these forward into post-lockdown life…