Finally, restrictions were loosened, and we can run together in groups again. Yes, social running is back. It has been months of motivating myself and sometimes dragging myself out of the house to go for a run on my own. As soon as I’ve seen running groups are getting back together, I wanted to give it ago.
Running my local 3 to 5km few times a week, I’m in need of a change. But being in isolation, working from home and the impact of all the past years restrictions, I was not sure how I would feel about running in a group.
I remember when I first went out to the outdoor pubs and being surrounded by people, I felt like I need to get used to it. Strange, I thought. Living under restrictions for such a long time, I guess I got used to being at home and just hanging out with my flatmate. Now we meet up with friends but how do I feel being with strangers during a run?
The last runs I’ve done to my local park I sometimes felt anxiety coming up when I saw how busy it is on the street. Especially Saturdays in Hampstead Heath. Lots of dog walkers and just so many people made me uncomfortable I never experienced before COVID19.
I don’t like that feeling and I want to change it. Of cause I’d like to stay safe and healthy but don’t want to feel stressed when around others. So lets check out a group running opportunity! It’s always a tease for me to try new products so I was excited to join the group Never Stop London testing the new trail running shoe from The North Face called VECTIV.
The group met up in Islington. Running leader and ultramarathon expert James Poole was choosing a beautiful trail route though hidden footpaths, along Parkland Walk and finished at the top of the hill in Alexandra Palace/ Ally Pally. It was a 13km trail run, a distance I haven’t done in a long long time. It was a push and I kind of doubled my current distance. Which I wouldn’t recommend to do. Being most of the time the slowest runner in the group and my current fitness didn’t feel sufficient, I had doubts if I can keep up. But the lovely group motivated me and Anna stayed with me the whole time and kept me going.
We were a decent size group and kept distance during the introduction talk. Most of the runners came with a partner and ran together or behind each other. We staggered and were mindful while running. I felt absolutely save and confident that way and was enjoying social running. I actually was so glad to get out and felt bit more normal. About the shoe trial, it really helps to wear trail running shoes when we were in the woods and grass. The VECTIV shoe has a carbon fibre foot plate in it that is very unique and you roll bit more onto the front of your feet. I like that. It gives a lot of stability too. For my foot which has a high mid-foot the slip in shoe felt a bit tight. I prefer a shoe I can change the lacing to take pressure of my mid food. This snog fit is great for narrow, standard feet. Everybody seemed to enjoy running in them. You can even go to the shop for example Regent Street and borrow the shoe for a test week.
I actually have to buy a new road shoe soon. Trial opportunities are the best. You only know which shoe is right for you when you run a couple of miles in them. I’m looking forward to run more and found this session very motivating. How do you feel about social running after COVID19?