Lockdown has bought many changes to everyone and Pool2lake has not been exempt. No swimming pools and no open water, which is a serious problem!!! I have had to resort to drastic measures to keep active and get my endorphin fix. Joe Wicks PE sessions have been added to my morning routine which has seen lots of laughs and achy muscles I never knew I had. Noticing a lot of people are jogging /running outside, I wondered what it would be like to be part of that gang? I see runners pacing elegantly past my house with good posture, fabulously high knees and with their feet actually lifting off the ground, I have serious runner’s envy. Then there are the ladies who have long ponytails swaying from side to side with controlled measure. Ok I can’t have the ponytail but I want to look like I am in control of this outdoor exercise - jogging.
I shuffle which is what I call my jog!!! It would be rude to say I am running or jogging because that is what Mo Farah and Usain Bolt do. I wake up in the morning, have a cup of tea and before I can change my mind I go down to the Crabtree fields for a shuffle, or if you want to be kind, a jog. I’ve started with one lap, which is 280m and I felt like I almost died.
I was huffing and puffing, it wasn’t a pleasant sight. I couldn’t even think about the perfect pony tail that I wanted to have flapping behind my head. My only thought was to get around the field without stopping. I tried to practice what I preach when I coach new pool swimmers. Give yourself a chance to warm up, talk to yourself in a positive way when it’s hard, think of your posture and don’t be in a hurry. 280m is a teeny tiny distance but when I first started out I felt it was a massive achievement for me and I was chuffed to be able to have done that distance. I see this with my new swimmers, when they can swim 10 lengths without stopping, the feeling of elation and the broad smile tell a thousand words. I did feel better afterwards and my breathing did return to normal. My shuffle doesn’t give me the calmness and ability to switch my mind off feeling like the swimming does but it definitely has pushed me out of my comfort zone to do something that I would not normally have done. If you are a runner and we have chatted about it, I always tell you running is evil and nasty!!!! As long as we are in lockdown I will continue to do my shuffle very early in the morning so as not to be spotted. I am now on 1.1km, which is 4 laps of the field. Still having to stop after each lap. It’s still not easy but I will continue to shuffle for as long as the pool and lakes are closed. On the up side is that swimming is so beneficial for runners, so I think more runners should attempt to step over to the good side and give swimming a try. Tips from Runnersworld why runners should head to the pool? 1. Swimming uses several different muscle groups, like the glutes and hips for kicking, core for rotating, shoulders and arms for pulling. 2. Improves your cardio without the impact, so there less stress on muscles and ligaments when you swim. 3. Swimming builds stronger muscles like your core, which will help you maintain your posture and stabilise your hips, especially when you are doing long distance running. When your body gets tired, the core will allow you to keep the body upright and moving forward. 4. Swimming allows you to train if you are injured which will help you with your mental health so you’re able to do some exercise. 5. For injury-prone runners who often get hurt when attempting higher mileage, swimming in the place of a run is a great way to get that extra cardio volume without getting hurt. Take care during lockdown and do keep moving, it really does help make you feel better.