The other day, in light of the current Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, we asked our incredible Lonely Goat Running Club community for their tips for training at home. As always, we had a great response and thought it would be helpful to collate some of those tips here.
If you’re having to stay home to self-isolate, or just trying to minimise the amount of time you spend outdoors right now, we hope you find this article useful.
Simple home exercises
Running is a specific range of movements that can be tricky to replicate in a small garden or indoors – unless you are Elisha Nochomovitz, the French guy who ran a marathon on his balcony the other day!
Nonetheless, there are some exercises that can get pretty close.
Running is basically jumping from one foot to the other, over and over again, to move forwards. Skipping with a rope is very similar – especially if you hop on alternate legs – but you stay in one place and have a rope to contend with. Do it for long enough and it is a great aerobic workout.
If the idea of getting tangled up in a rope doesn’t appeal, how about just hopping? Either on the spot or back and forth? Yes, it’s not as fun as getting out in the open and running, but it doesn’t take long before you to start to feel the effort.
This idea pops up quite a lot as a suggested exercise for people having to stay indoors. It’s good, because having to work against gravity – both to lift your body up the stairs and to lower yourself down again – adds an element of resistance that can work your leg muscles hard.
There’s a couple of issues with stair climbing though.
- Do it too quickly and you run the risk of falling down the stairs.
- You’re going to struggle with this if you live in a flat or a bungalow.
Swimming, rowing machines, indoor cycling, and elliptical trainers
These are only options if you’ve got the kit at home, but are worth doing if you have the equipment.
Swimming only works if you’ve got a pool, obviously, but it is a great aerobic exercise – or anaerobic if you push the pace. The lack of impact can give your body a break from the pounding of running, too.
Rowing machines provide a full body workout and pushing with the legs will keep them conditioned ready for when you are able to run outside again.
Indoor cycling also keeps the legs moving and can provide both aerobic and anaerobic exercise benefits. Some runners can find their legs take a bit of time to adapt to the slightly different motion, but if you listen to your body you should be alright.
Elliptical cross trainers may make you look a bit daft when you’re using them, but that unique motion – arms and legs moving through a wide range – provides a great whole body workout.
The big one, that many of you will be familiar with by now, is ‘The Body Coach’, Joe Wicks’ daily sessions. However, there are other resources you can use if you fancy something different.
Joe Wicks: ‘PE With Joe’
Head over to Wicks’ Youtube channel, every weekday, at 9 am for a live 30 minute PE lesson. Each day offers a different routine and even though it is aimed at children who are having to be home-schooled, there’s no reason why adults can’t join in.
The videos are saved online too, so if you miss the lesson when it’s broadcast live, you can catch up in your own time later.
Wicks has also uploaded a couple of videos that are suited to older people or those with limited mobility, plus a large selection of other useful exercise videos. Check out his channel here.
Davina McCall: ‘Own Your Goals’
Ordinarily, you’d have to pay for access to this online platform featuring fitness, nutrition and wellbeing resources from Davina McCall. However, they offer a free 30 day membership (no payment details required), which seems perfect for right now.
There are videos and online exercise classes, as well as recipes for people who want to eat healthily. Find Own Your Goals here.
Dame Kelly Holmes
Fancy trying some running drills or an abs routine with an Olympic champion?
Dame Kelly Holmes is hosting exercise sessions on her Instagram account, using the ‘Live’ feature in stories. Keep an eye on her Instagram page to see the schedule. Here’s Thursday 26th March’s programme, to give you a taster of what to expect.
View this post on Instagram
Full on day again tomorrow Join me live on my Instagram story for all the sessions posted * Alpaca feeding * Core and ab workout * Chit chat * Special chair workout with Paralympian hero – Tanni Grey Thompson * FitDanceMix with Sarah and Faye * Running Drills ? PLEASE SHARE #letsdothis #workout #workhard #fitness #dance #wellbeing #mentalhealth #alpacas
And in case you’re wondering, the “boys” are her alpacas!
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill
If one Olympic champion isn’t enough for you, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill has also hosted a live workout session on her Jennis Fitness Instagram account. We think that live session may have been a one-off, but it looks as though Ennis-Hill is posting shorter workouts and exercises every day – perfect if you want a quick blast of fitness.
View this post on Instagram
Another workout for you guys to keep you active and inspired at home! Set 1 = 25 secs of activity followed by 10 secs rest in between each exercise 1. Press ups 2.jumping lunges 3.sit up with a twist 4.squat thrusts 5.dips 6.crunches 7.burpees 1 minute rest Set 2 = 30 secs of activity followed by 10 secs rest in between each exercise 1. Press ups 2.jumping lunges 3.sit up with a twist 4.squat thrusts 5.dips 6.crunches 7.burpees 1 minute rest Set 3 = 25 secs of activity followed by 10 secs rest in between each exercise 1. Press ups 2.jumping lunges 3.sit up with a twist 4.squat thrusts 5.dips 6.crunches 7.burpees Save this down so you've got it next time you're itching to burn some energy! For more workouts like this, download and subscribe to the Jennis Fitness app via the link in our bio (there's a free 7 day trial for you guys to try), or search Jennis Fitness online.
These free Instagram workouts can be seen as an accompaniment to the Jennis Fitness app, which requires a subscription, but includes sections on pregnancy and post-natal fitness which may be of interest to some of the Herd.
Yoga With Adriene
If you’re looking to add some yoga into your exercise routine – either to work on strength, flexibility, or to relax and recover – this popular Youtube channel is a good starting point.
Other web-based workout programmes
Before coronavirus, there were already loads of online fitness programmes available. They all tend to have a different focus or theme, you usually have to pay for them, and they may not necessarily be that applicable to running fitness, but you might find them a fun substitute for your usual routine at this time. Here’s a selection:
Many of us are missing our weekly parkrun fix while the events have been suspended.
If you’re wondering what to do with yourself on a Saturday morning, tune into their Youtube channel at 9 am to take part in the Great Big parkrun Quiz!
They’re also posting a weekly Junior parkrun warm-up routine which can also work as a home-based exercise warm-up routine.
The UK National Health Service has a wealth of resources on the ‘Live Well’ section of their website, including guidance on exercises you can do at home without a gym.
These include ‘standing abs workout’, ‘seated yoga workout’, ‘stairs workout’, ‘pillow workout’, and even a ‘sofa workout’.
It’s well worth having a look at.
The NHS has their own series of free exercise videos, available on their Fitness Studio site.
Every Mind Matters
It’s not just your physical health that you should be looking after, but your mental health. Many of us run to give ourselves a little headspace, and may be worried about how we’ll achieve that if we can’t get outdoors.
The NHS’ ‘Every Mind Matters’ site has plenty of information to help you, including a section on how to cope with the stress of coronavirus.
We’ve written about Zwift before, as we think it is a game-changer that is revolutionising treadmill running. Of course, when we wrote that, we didn’t anticipate that so many of us will be confined to our homes and desperate to run!
For runners with treadmills in their homes, Zwift Run is well worth looking at. The app is free, you just need to pay for a Zwift RunPod (just £30 in our shop).
We’ve already featured two Olympian Dames sharing workouts via Instagram, but there are many other accounts to inspire you to exercise at home. Here’s a selection:
- FunBodyFit (in French)
- Results Wellness Lifestyle
- Everyday Athlete Fitness
- Laura ‘Biceps’ Hoggins
- Melissa Bender
The possibilities are endless
We hope this article – written with the help of tips from the Lonely Goat Running Club community – has shown that there are loads of ways to keep fit if you are having, or have chosen to stay at home.
It might take a while to find the right exercise routine for you – after all, it’s hard to find something that gets close to giving us the buzz we get from running – but we reckon the suggestions above are a good starting point.
Finally, it is also worth remembering that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic will pass. Yes, you might lose a bit of running fitness if you can’t get outdoors, but you’ll soon get it back.
The break from running may even give your body an opportunity to get over any niggles or injuring you may have been trying to run through.
Thanks for reading. Stay safe, and remember there’s a whole community of supportive Goats out there and we’ll get through this together.
Please note: All information was correct at the time of writing.