Soooooo in these already boring times ( being stuck at home due to COVID-19), I have decided to get my running game on. I just bought new pair of running shoes so there is no stopping me right, or at least that’s what I thought.
When the lockdown started just under 2 months ago, I have moved in with my parents and started working from home. I feel lucky to be able to work this way, since I am aware that a lot of people have been put on furlough, lost their income completely or physically have to go in to work, putting their and others health at risk. To stay fit and generally SANE in these very different times, I have decided to run at least 2 – 4 times a week, normally 5 km, and sometimes even getting my little brother to tag along but on his bike. Other physical activities I would include in my stuck at home fitness venture would be resistance exercises, finger strength training for climbing and yoga for flexibility.
Unfortunately few weeks ago, a pain in my left shin (which I have had already for few weeks) has become so unbearable I could not walk on that leg after a run. I gave it some rest for a week and tried running again. That was a mistake! The pain came back even worse and sometimes I would struggle to even fall asleep. I gave myself another week off from running and tried to do it for the second time. Again, very silly mistake! Pain was so bad I through I must have shine splints of some sort, or damaged muscle.
Luckily one of my fellow climbing club buddies is a Podiatrist, so I thought I’ll seek some advice over the phone. After explaining my pains and what I have been doing around the time it started, he have unofficially diagnosed me with tibia stress fracture.
All joys, no more running for 6 weeks, just loads ice and chill for my leg 😦
So what can I do if I can’t put much pressure or consistent impact on my left tibia?
Some yoga and exercises can’t be bad right?
Anyways, I have decided to dedicate 30 min to 2 hours per day, 4 times a week at least for exercises including upper body and arms, loads core strengthening, yoga flows in morning and evening, and even some Joe Wicks with my little brother. I also thought there must be other things I can do to improve my fitness if I can’t do much cardio, so I have come up with few points that can help expand genera fitness and well-being knowledge:
- gain a bit more understanding about physics behind running and exercise. How does the body work and what to do, to get the most out of your workout (check out these free online courses with Open University)
- get more information about the right nutrition for your own little fitness plan ( check out these free online courses with Further Learn)
- explore and map out exciting running events. These are normally inexpensive and fun to complete alone or with a team (one that I have been introduced to and attended 2 times already is the Wolf Run which is a 10 km mud run)
- research what to do to get back on track in the most stable and safe way, and create a recovery plan. I find Youtube is very good tool for this type of research, with loads good reviews and ideas from other fitness individuals.
- challenge different parts of the body with resistance training.
- if running was your main fitness training, maybe look into working out your upper body, work on core or try and become more flexible. To do this successfully I would suggest giving yourself some goals e.g do 5 pull ups after 2 weeks training for it, train to plank for 2 minutes, get closer and closer to a split every week, hold yoga poses for few extra breaths etc.
- add weights where appropriate into your normal workout .This will help you keep pushing your body where you can
- turn to cycling if you have a bike
- try and do some meditative practices. Simple 15-20 min relaxing body scans can really make you aware of sensations you have in your body. I think it helps me to concentrate energy in areas I want to work on
- explore some nice new running routs for when you are back in the runners shoes
- other activities I could think off all include being in closer contact with people or include being in public space like a swimming pool, which is most likely to be closed off during COVID-19
I think these areas are worth looking into if you want to keep up with good fitness practice and make yourself feel good, especially if you cant run. Of course if you already have a fitness plan in place, or following instructions given by physiotherapist, these might not fully apply to you.
If you are recovering from an injury like me, during COVID-19, I suggest not pushing it. Rest and recover to avoid further damage. If I have stopped, stepped back from running weeks ago and seek help, I might be at the end of my recover period. Instead, I have about 4 more weeks to go if not longer since I have made it worse by thinking it’s nothing serious.
I can imagine the lockdown or an injury could have some negative impact on our motivation, but this is the best time for self reflection and exploration of new challenges to set your mind to. Goal setting is very good for mental health, especially if you are reviewing them on daily bases and pushing yourself that little bit extra.
The above photos are from my random adventure, where I went to explore possibilities for a new and longer running rout. This was almost 10km, with good mixture of on and off road running. Best time for a walk right now is very early Sunday morning, unless you are isolating.
Fitness Channels I recommend:
- MadFit real time workout channel (targeted at females, also include vegan food ideas)
- Yoga With Adriene my favourite yoga channel with some awesome easy flows
- HASfit fitness for all
Podcasts I listen to while getting ready for work, driving or running:
- The Plant Proof Podcast by Simon Hill. His passion for plant based diet got him to interview doctors, nutritionists, sports people and individuals who have turned their life around thanks to plant based nutrition. My favourite podcast of all as he is so genuine and some of the interviews he has got are just mind blowing.
- NutritionFacts Podcast by Dr Michael Greger- well renown physician, public speaker and advocate for whole-foods, plant based diet gives fact and figures on different foods we can eat or avoid to improve our health.
- Generation V by Nimai Delgato is all about plant based nutrition in sports and fitness sector. Again very factual and interesting to listen to.