Amy Lane, author of I Can Run, shares her tips to making the most of your new running habit, and still get that run club feeling whist social distancing.
The number of new runners on the streets is so heartening. Really, my new book I Can Run, an empowering guide for those beginners who have never felt confident pounding the pavements, couldn’t be better timed. But that’s not to say that social distancing hasn’t complicated people’s positive, new-found hobby.
One of the best, most important parts about running is that – while some people prefer to go it alone – many find running is a chance to get social; be each other’s cheerleaders; join clubs; make friends. That’s not so easy right now. But it’s not impossible. Here I’m going to share my guide to making running a fun, collaborative effort online so you can enjoy and make more of your miles in real life.
First, get connected:
With more than 64 million members around the world, Strava offers miles and miles of inspiration at your fingertips. In 2018 alone, women uploaded more than 90 million runs to the platform and those who’d set themselves a run goal using the app were 15% more likely to achieve it.
Join and you can quickly join a club. Hosted by locals as well as brands like Garmin, these virtual crews bring like-minded people together, for example The Weekly 5K Club. Hosted by Ultra Runner Susie Chan this digital crew all run (you guessed it) 5K each week, and post their efforts to the group. Drop in to see photos, links and comments from other runners that can push you to go further.
Get inspired: To train like an athlete you can also visit strava.com/pros for a list of professionals using the sweatwork. Here, you can easily find and follow your cardio crush.
Insider tip: Since time began humans have benefited mentally from the approval of others, and in the running community it’s no different. So start giving ‘kudos’ (they’re like ‘likes’) to other runners. They’ll share them back and give you the boost you need to go further.
There are more than 45 million people on RunKeeper – that’s more than the population of Canada. It’s quite the crew. Since launching 11 years ago this running network has tirelessly updated their offering, which is liked by runners around the world. At the time of writing, more than half a million photos are using #runkeeper on Instagram, which is handy for an unending source of inspo.
Get inspired: To help you go the distance, sign up to a virtual race and don’t forget to celebrate your progress with friends.
Insider tip: Choose Goal Coach for guidance in setting running goals that are right for you. It’s as close as you’ll get to a personal running coach without having to reach for your credit card.
Then, add to the sweatwork:
If you love running but aren’t into sweaty selfies, you’re not alone. The running community is creative when it comes to celebrating their sweat. That has never been more relevant than right now. Here are ways to be part of the community.
Run Five, Donate Five, Nominate Five
If you haven’t taken part in this trend yet, it’s a brilliant way to get active, motivate you to run and raise money for an amazing cause. Simply run 5km, donate £5 here and nominate five of your friends to do the same. With nearly £5million raised already, what are you waiting for?
Post your timings
For those new to running I can sense your hesitation but hear me out. The running community respects commitment and effort over pure performance. Sure, people might be going further and faster than you (right now) but you will receive support and praise from those that follow you. Plus you get the satisfaction when you record a PB and share it with the world.
Many running apps offer the ability to brand up your run route and share it to IG. It’s a great resource for sharing your journey with local runners. Alternatively, you could get creative like ‘Dick Run Clare’, who is using Instagram to share her penis shaped running routes. Each to their own.
Finally, follow your new passion:
Throughout my running journey I’ve often called on social media for motivation and inspiration and hashtags are the easiest way to find it. From discovering runners who endured frozen beards and hair in pursuit of their winter miles, to the women giving taboos the bump and running while pregnant. This is how I search social media to fuel my own success.
Amy’s book I Can Run is now available to buy, download to your Kindle, or listen to as an audiobook out on your runs, at Amazon.