Since lockdown began, the UK has experienced a running boom, with the RunKeeper™ app data showing that more of us ran, more often than during the same period in 2019 with there being a 13 per cent increase in active runners in the months of June and July.
Experts say it takes 91 days to make exercise become a habit, so since the beginning of lockdown, are we still in love with running? The results of independent research by ASICS among people who started or restarted running during lockdown says ‘yes’, showing that 90 per cent of lockdown runners plan to keep running or to run more in the future.
The research went on to highlight that 67 per cent of people said that mental wellbeing was the main reason Brits headed out for a run during lockdown as well as to de-stress (51 per cent) – both factors especially important for women when compared to male runners (66 per cent versus 51 per cent). The results also revealed further personal benefits of running including over half (56 per cent) who admitted it gave them an escape and headspace, 34 per cent who said it helped with their sleep and a third (31 per cent) stating it made them a happier person.
However, the research also revealed that over half (68 per cent) of lockdown runners admitted they hadn’t received any support or guidance on key elements of running, putting them at risk of injury or giving up on their newfound passion. The main areas runners identified as key to needing more help with were motivation (47 per cent), avoiding sore joints and muscles (also 47 per cent) and how to find the right running shoe (46 per cent).
ASICS has created some simple tips and running hacks for each of the key areas, to help runners continue their running journey. These are:
Lay out your clothes the night before you intend to run.
Drink 4-6mL of water per kilogram of body weight at least every four hours. Sip water regularly during your run.
Know your foot type
Check that your thumb fits in between your big toe and the front of the shoe. Ensure you can move your feet up and down.
Chop and change
Rotate your shoes to avoid damage to your trainers and body.
Be SMART and Celebrate
Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound. Celebrate small victories every week.
Change up your workouts to keep yourself on your toes. Try out new routes, speeds and running forms like hill sprints.
Katie Piper, who restarted running during lockdown, says: ‘I was inspired to get back into running during lockdown and it has reminded me of why I love to just get out and go on a run. As I look ahead and plan to keep up running, I’ve realized how little I actually know about some of the key parts of it – like am I wearing the right shoe? Or how can I make sure I stay motivated when life starts to get busier? That’s why all of the tips and advice ASICS has created have been a real help for me and making sure I can continue to get out and run.’
Linda van Aken, Vice President Running ASICS, says: ‘Running is one of the easiest sports to get into and the mental and physical benefits are incredible. However, all runners, especially those just starting out, need some essential support and guidance to help keep them motivated, injury-free and running with a sound mind in a sound body. That’s why we’re committed to providing runners with useful and easy to understand tips and advice to help them on their running journey.’
Visit the ASICS website for more information.