Keep Calm, Keep Running

Rachel Atherton

With the current Coronavirus / COVID 19 pandemic the world that we are living in is swiftly becoming one that is very different to the normal lives we live.

Races have been cancelled or postponed to later in the year, and the latest news has seen some very big changes to running community as we currently know it.

So what does this mean to my running group?

Most of you are probably already aware, but following on from the Government advice that everyone in UK should avoid unnecessary travel and contact with others. England Athletics and Run Together have since recommended that all running groups are currently suspended.

This is obviously quite a big blow for lots of running groups not only here in Leeds, but across the whole country.

 We all know that there are many benefits to not only our physical health but mental health as well that can be achieved by attending a running group, but in these difficult times it’s important to remember that at the moment you can still continue to go outside running on your own.

Running as Individuals

 There are not currently any restrictions on being able to exercise outside, but social distancing and avoiding face to face contact has been encouraged.

So at the moment this does mean that you can continue to run outside, just not as part of a group.

I know it might be hard to not feel even a little bit demotivated, but focus on the positive that you are still able to go out a run.

Here are a few tips to try and keep you motivated during this challenging time.

Keep a running routine

When the big race you were training for has now been cancelled it can feel tempting to hang up the running trainers, but all that hard work won’t be wasted. You’re fitness levels will almost certainly have improved so it’s important to keep yourself ticking over.

It also important to not increase your running too much as a result of perhaps having more free time. If you go from running 3 times a week to 5 you could be at risk of developing an injury.

Keep in touch with your running group

 You’re all in this together and if you are finding it hard it’s more than likely that others are too. Reach out to people via online platforms such a Facebook and Strava to share your thoughts, progress and achievements.

Try a new route

With social distancing in mind use this is an opportunity to explore green spaces that you perhaps haven’t had the opportunity to do so before.

Mix up your training

If you are used to just going out for steady state runs, why not try throwing in a few sessions aswell?

For example: 1min/2min/3min/4min/5min/4min/3min/2min/1min of hard efforts with 90 seconds recovery between each rep.

Just remember that its also important not to over do it and weaken the immune system too much – so only do what you feel up to.

Log your training

If you don’t already do this it’s a great way to keep an eye on the training that you have been doing but also helps to keep you accountable!

Create a club Strava page

You’re club may already have one of these, but if not maybe suggest making one! Then you can all see what each other have been up to and have a virtual group!


These are just a few suggestions but please share any other ideas that you may have with us!

We want to help the running community to keep running whilst we can through this difficult time.

You can contact us on social media or


Want to keep up to date with everything Run Leeds? Sign up now to stay in the loop!