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Lockdown has changed a lot about how we live, work and exercise. Many have taken advantage of zoom classes and the limited outdoor sessions they can do with their trainers. There has also been an increase in people taking up running and cycling across the UK. This is likely influenced by the fact that many lacked personal workout equipment and the government advice actually encourages walking or cycling when possible1.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, according to GlobalData, 5% of UK consumers (around 1.3 million people) have bought a bike. Some of the largest bike suppliers like Decathlon and Evans Cycle are struggling to keep up with demand and are now dealing with bike shortages and long delivery delays2.

Similarly, there has been a sharp uptake in running. A recent report created on Garmin smartwatch wearers found that, on 14 April, there were approximately 50% more outdoor runs recorded in the UK than on 9 March3. We’re also sure that you saw the extremely popular Instagram trend #Run5Donate5Nominate5 at the beginning of lockdown, where we were being advised to only exercise outdoors once a day. This trend encouraged people to use their daily exercise to run 5km, donate £5 and then nominate five people to do the same.

So, what happens now we are all out running or cycling?

The natural progression for those who stick with these sports will likely be to want to start working towards endurance events. While it is unlikely in-person competitions and events will take place in the near future, there are a number of ways to undertake an endurance event and push your body.

The best way to increase your stamina is to introduce structure and planning into your running/cycling if you have done so already. One of the simplest ways to do this for running is to follow the nine-week Couch to 5k NHS training plan, which gradually builds up your stamina till your able to run 5k. For cyclists, there is the eight-week, Sofa to 50km training plan that British Cycling created.

There are also many cycling and running apps that allow people to share and compete against their friends and others all over the world. A popular option for both runners and cyclists is Strava. This is a free fitness app that is used by runners, cyclists, swimmers and hikers to track their progress. Strava also offers training plans that use your previous running/cycling data inputted into the app to create a tailored programme. However, the app also has monthly endurance challenges for each activity, where competitors complete the set distance, enter their times and receive digital badges for participating.

Some of you may want to use your newfound love for running and cycling to also support charities. Many charities are quite flexible about how you can raise money for them and, as such, you can usually tailor the challenge to what you think will be achievable. Visit the website of your chosen charity to find out how to set up your fundraising running and cycling challenge.

Have you had clients who have taken up running or cycling since the start of lockdown?

If so, how have you created a personalised fitness plan that compliments these activities and potentially supports the journey towards endurance events?

  1., accessed on 23 July 2020.
  2., accessed on 23 July 2020.
  3., accessed on 23 July 2020.