Great Wall Marathon

Staying in is the new going out!

runABC's Alan Newman offers some positive advice for the new year

Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or perhaps a midway meliorist like me? With the nation involved in an urgent race between the spread of coronavirus and the mass vaccination of the public, there never was a better time to believe in the capacity of humans to achieve steady and continuous improvement, despite the odd setback - or global pandemic.

At the time of writing, 20 million more people have just been moved to Tier Four in England, which means more than three-quarters of the population currently face the highest level of COVID-19 control measures. The rest of the nation is in Tier Three and there are no Tier Two areas – only the Isles of Scilly (population 2,000) stand out as a beacon of hope in Tier One.

This means that, once again, staying in is the new going out! Still, the weather hasn't been that great and there is light at the end of the tunnel through the amazing vaccines developed with remarkable speed. So, there is hope and as the author and historian Thomas Fuller wrote in 1650: "It is always darkest just before the day dawns”.

The next few months will be tough but as the days begin to lengthen this is the perfect time to make realistic and achievable plans for the new year. We all have our achilles heels – not weaknesses, but areas for improvement – and any extra time we may have available should be put to good use now. 

Do you need to strengthen your core? Would you benefit from stretching more or doing regular home yoga or pilates classes to help avoid injuries? How about adding some speedwork or a few more hills to your training routine? 

There is no shortage of good quality advice available. Just click on our Running Advice page for information on nutrition, stretching, injuries, and general matters. Also, don't forget to take a look at our training tips and schedules to help prepare for your next race or challenge.

Perhaps you feel the need for a long-term aim to help boost your post-lockdown mojo, so why not set yourself the target of running 2,021 kilometres or 2,021 miles in 2021?

There are a huge number of virtual events available that will plug you into online running communities with shared endeavours and may even reward you with real bling for your efforts. Check our Virtual Race Listing page to see if there is an event that floats your boat. 

Finally, why not make 2021 the year you commit to running abroad in one of the classic marathons, half marathons, or trail races? Sports Tours International has nearly 50 years of experience in taking runners to events around the world, including all six World Marathon Majors, with the vital protection of ABTA bonding.

Here at runABC we look forward to a steady and continuous return to normality and cannot wait to report on live events again as they resume.

Image: Great Wall Marathon courtesy Sports Tours International

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