March News – A very different spring for runners


Two weeks ago we had a draft of a newsletter all ready to send out. It was full of pictures of our year so far and all our plans for the spring of running. What a difference a fortnight makes. As all our plans are now put on the back-burner, we did want to send you a little March update for runners at this difficult time.

What happens now ?

Although we are officially closed for business in term of classes and events for the next while, we have been busy behind the scenes. Like many businesses we have had a lot of rescheduling to do for our spring classes, workshops, daytrips and even our big holiday to France in May. But when we do get back we will enjoy and appreciate our events all the more. Thank you to everyone for being so understanding on the rescheduling. We will be in touch with anyone who has booked late spring/summer places in our events when we know more on what May and beyond brings for us.

Community and support is a huge part of Forget The Gym and while we won’t see each other in person for a while, we have been keeping in touch from behind our computer screens. Our private facebook forum has become a great resource thanks to Coach Aoife who is keeping us all motivated and sane.

Can I still run?

The government advice is evolving daily and as of today we are free here in Ireland to go for a (solo) walk/run keeping good distance from others. Never has the fresh air been so valued by so many. But this does bring its own problems with very busy parks and beaches, so please try to find a local quiet route near you at a quiet time for your fresh air fix. Try and avoid going anywhere where others are and go out of your way to obey all the ‘social distancing’ guidance. Consider everyone else as well as yourself.

It can be hard not to have your running freedom and its understandable you miss your routine and running buddies, but we have to be adaptable and remain positive looking forward to the future when there will be more races and a chance to focus on a new goal. Your running goals may have changed, but the world has changed for now. We need to accept that and respect ALL government guidelines.

Mainly we want to encourage you to mind yourself and don’t get too focussed on maintaining peak fitness. Listen to your body. There are endless videos and online classes if home training suits you, but they are not for everyone. The last thing you need to add to you list of concerns right now is the guilt for not doing enough exercise. So do what is right for you. Personally I’m getting so much more out of a morning solo walk noticing spring in the air than from running fast right now. Do what your body craves to look after your stress and immune system. Try and move every day in some way and get some fresh air, even if it is a relaxed coffee on the balcony. You can’t do it all , so please don’t try to.

Now is the time to mind ourselves, not try and do everything that’s on offer. We really want to support you all to come through this safely and healthy.


How we can help…

If terms of the support we will offer over the next while, here is what we have :

  • Free online running plans : If you do have time on your hands and ONLY if it is safe where you live to be outdoors, my 8 week online running programmes with The Irish Times are available for you to watch the videos, learn more about technique or just build your running routine.
  • Fortnightly Articles in the paper : I will continue to write in The Irish Times (and hope what I write wont be obsolete by the time it goes to print). If you missed my most recent article, you can have a read here about what to do about races being cancelled . I’ll have an article in next Tuesday’s paper about what to do these weeks as a runner.
  • Facebook Support : Our private Facebook group is very active and supportive. It’s open to everyone who has been part of our classes over the years.  It is busier than ever as we aim to keep our running community all connected through this time. We will post weekly training sessions you can do yourself. We will also have some ‘virtual’ group runs where we all run solo at the same time and report back. But also we will be mainly sharing practical content that’s valuable in these days. Sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing!
  • Newsletter : We will keep you posted on tips and news each month going forward and update you on anything new we can offer you. If you have any ideas of what we can do to help, please drop us a line.
  • Reading about running : To all of you who bought my Get Running book, thanks again, but have it sitting on a shelf, maybe now is the time to have a read. Start with page 118 or 152, both might be a good option these days.

Just a reminder as always if you are walking or running continue to do so safely when out alone. Let someone know your route. Carry ID of some form and be mindful of the routes you choose and don’t block out noise with headphones.

 And Finally…

Regardless of all that is going on, spring is in the air and the days are getting longer. Notice the bird singing, the daffodils waving at us in the wind and the buds on the trees. If we look toward the future, we might all appreciate the great outdoors and the freedom of getting outside a little more when all this is behind us.

Mind yourselves everyone and hope it wont be too long til we are back sharing the miles together.