Two 6 mile runs over the weekend : My running lockdown thoughts

Image (9)Coping with lockdown has meant a whole new approach to life. I’ve been lucky enough to work from home and while the whole food buying situation appears to have calmed down, keeping active has been my salvation 🙂

While being vigelent regarding mine and my familys health there’s one aspect of this situation which has become even more important than normal. I often quote “running sets you free” and now, even more so, this is a vital aspect of keeping me sane.

Being fit and healthy has such a positive effect on both my mental and physical wellbeing. Maintaining that smile on your face and giving you an extra boost to take on whatever is around the corner are so important.

It’s noticeable just how many people have embrassed fitness and exercise in this lockdown. Not only are we seeing all the gym guys getting out to run and cycle rather then using treadmills and static bikes but it’s great to see “Jo Public” seems to be embracing it too

Long may it remain that the “new to fitness people” keep their exercise up when this current situation is over.

Both of my runs this weekend have been heading out towards Wallington, a quieter suburb of Fareham, so this blog combines both of my runs and thoughts.

I haven’t run two days consecutively for a while so I made full use of ultra marathon star Tom Evans recently released “Pre Run Activation” video, just follow this underlined link Pre Run Activation

On Saturday I was keen to try and follow the River Wallington that ultimately flows out into the still waters of Fareham creek and then the Solent, pictured below.

Image (7)Within a mile of my run starting I was passing through Bath Lane recreation ground with it’s freshly cut grass and the cricket square marked out. The Spring sunshine was on my back and even though the prospect of cricket might be some time off it was good to see the groundsmen are still thinking positively 🙂

Safety wise I’d taken my running bum bag so I was armed with handgel, wipes and kitchen roll for any gate opening or whatever might need any attention. Everyone I met was keen to keep their distance and we all exchanged greetings while enjoying our “outside” allowance.

Heading through the outskirts of town the roads were still eerily quiet as I ran over the main road bridge. It was almost if England were in the football world cup final and everyone was at home watching it, except me !!

Image (6)Almost immediately after this bridge is the contrasting Wallington river bridge that’s been there for centuries. With a large Sanisburys near by, crossing the old bridge almost takes you back in time with small cottages and narrow roads.

The cyclist is Dave Whitting (Gosport Road runners) that I know and I bumped into him on Sunday. This keeps up an almost unblemished record of me seeing someone I know from our local running community every time I go out.

Image (8)On the Saturday I followed the river via a wooden bridge that took me out into an unexpected area of parkland. This hidden gem then lead onto an unexpected motorway underpass that I didn’t know existed and was only a matter of a few hundred metres from the underpass that I’ve run through with our Fareham Crusaders running club.

Passing through a few fields and another foot bridge over the river this right of way then joined a county lane and I had my bearings back. Approaching the aptly named Nine Elms lane I ran through a farmyard with the river still in sight and I was out into the countryside after only 2.5 miles.

On both Saturday and Sunday I’d noticed a track heading up the hill that would run parallel to the Nine Elms lane. I can’t resist a hill but I saved it for Sunday morning as I wanted to follow the river. Unfortunately some fifty or so cows meant my river exploring can to an abrupt end.

Saturdays run was a lunchtime attempt to avoid too many other walkers, cyclists and runners and Sundays early outing also achieved my goal but to be fair with this area being a little off track then it meant for a pleasant and relaxing run.

Pictured at the beginning on my blog, Sundays hill was only 400 metres or so but quite a challenge as with the travel restrictions I haven’t been able to get to my beloved South Downs Way. I have now come to the conclusion that my hill legs aren’t what they were ha ha !! But that’s something to work on 🙂

On my return I bumped into Ray Gunner from Stubbington Green runners which was a pleasant surprise because I haven’t seen him in ages.

I ran through the second motorway subway which has graffiti from end to end. I laughed to myself when it crossed my mind they could be compared with an ancient cave dwelling and the drawings on the walls done by cavemen etc. The colours combine to create an explosion of paint.

Image (10)The heat on both days has meant sun cream lotion with temperatures of 24 and 22 degrees and not a cloud in sight !! As I ran back towards town I stopped at one more bridge and I have to say the water looked very inviting. Naturally I wouldn’t have dreamed about jumping in but I was quite jealous of the ducks.

Image (11)All in all my two six mile runs gave me time to switch off, time to listen to the birds and time to soak up the green fields and the blue sky. Even with the lockdown restrictions you can still explore your local area. I have kept my outings down to an hour but there’s more on your doorstep than you think !!

Getting outdoors releases you from the four walls that we are currently confined to. Keep your head up, stay safe, look after each other and if at all possible go for a walk, run or cycle.



Running helps you to Stay Positive

Image[1]In these uncertain times it would be easy to let everything overwhelm you. Our normal routines are being challenged and the unfamiliar is now becoming the norm rather than the exception. We all need something to cling onto that keeps us sane. Running is my sanity.

I’ve been running for over thirty years so if there’s one activity that can normalise these abnormal times then lacing up my trainers will keep me grounded. I’ve read of so many people in our running community making similar statements. Running isn’t just a form of exercise it’s a way of life that you come to rely on.

My last few runs have either been three or five milers. It’s really noticeable how many people are out and about walking, running and cycling. Now, that’s admirable but at the same time I seem to be crossing the road or even running in the middle of the road but it’s all worth it.

In an ideal world I’d be driving out into the countryside but again running from home is a small price to pay.

Mapping out your route so that you have a plan and a purpose seems to be the key. I’ve chosen the riverbank and the rapeseed fields which are luckily fairly close by.


Another noticeable impact of the additional people out exercising is the extra “hellos” “well done” and “mornings” that you receive and offer out 🙂 This community feeling of we’re all in it together will again help us to cope.

I’ve seen numerous people that I know when I’ve been out on my runs and this really does add to the sense of normality. The races may well be a long way off but when we spend all day indoors its great to get that fresh air in your lungs.

So, in summary, stay safe, look after each other and keep running. One further impact of the current situation is really silly but I could defiantly do with a haircut ha ha !!

Image[3]On a slightly different note I was contacted by Winchester Radio to see if I’d like to talk for five minutes about the positive impact of running on your mental and physical health, especially in the trying times.

Finally, no blog post would be complete without a shout out to the NHS. On my morning run I saw two nurses getting into their car. My immediate thought was to shout out “well done” and even though they looked a little embarrassed I felt it was the right thing to do.

Stay safe, keep on clapping the NHS on Thursdays at 8pm and keep on running !!

Cheers Roger