Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Episode #3 of our new IGTV series, Lockdown Lessons, is with The Running Department - a running club and community right here in Singapore.

Credit: @runningdepartment

In case you hadn't noticed, it seems every man and his dog is running at the moment - which we are LOVING! - but we were conscious that maybe not everyone knows how to get into it properly and safely. We ran a poll on our IG Stories and 82% of you agreed that you've definitely seen more runners pounding the pavements since Lockdown/Circuit Breaker which kind of clinched it for us, so this episode is all about running!

If you haven't watched the full ep, then head on over to our IGTV to check it out! Otherwise, you can get the bullet points right here...

To represent Running Department, we were joined by David Chung who is an avid runner to say the least: David’s first race was a 10km at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2004, but he only started running regularly in 2006 when he trained for his first half-marathon. He’s been part of Running Department since it started in 2013, and got to know its pioneers when he volunteered as a pacer for SCSM 2011. Since then, he’s enjoyed longer and longer runs (trail ultra-marathons, in particular). When he’s not pounding the pavement or doing loops up and down Bukit Timah Hill, he trains organisations and leaders in mindful resilience, performance, and innovation. Incredible!

Some of the best advice and takeaways from our chat with David:

- Find your 'why'. What is going to keep you going when it's too hot or it's raining and you just don't feel like going out? Find your 'why' and really connect with it each day so that you make it out of the door every morning.

- Build up gradually to build up your confidence and self-assurance. Don't feel like you need to progress really quickly and do not compare yourself to others' progress. Just go at your own pace.

- Have patience. Take your time to increase your distances. Get comfortable with your distances before pushing yourself to the next milestone. I.e. once you make it to 5km or 10km etc, make sure you can comfortably run that distance before reaching for the next big milestone.

- If you love to read, then immerse yourself in training plans, biographies of runners etc to keep your interest levels up. E.g. we loved Born To Run by Christopher McDouggal. This book is such a game changer and will genuinely make you feel like you were born to run!

- Remember that running is a big stressor on the body and after any stress your body needs to rest! Through the STRESS AND REST, you will get stronger. Do not sacrifice your rest periods.

-- Warm up!

Before a run do DYNAMIC STRETCHING - this means, stretching with movement

#1 Leg swings back and forth for around 30s-60s:

This gets your body used to the forward/backward motion of the leg. Keep it gentle and for what feels comfortable for you

#2 Leg swings left to right/side to side for 30s-60s

#3 Hip circles

This helps to loosen up the torso/abs/lower body as you use this area a lot for stability throughout your run.

Once you're on your run, start at a slower pace for a few minutes. Once you're into the rhythm (and this is different for EVERYONE so don't compare yourself to others), then you can pick up the pace and push yourself a bit.

After your run, go for STATIC STRETCHES:

#1 Quads and thigh muscles for 30s-60s

- Track your runs! David's running app of choice is Strava with his Garmin watch. Strava is really social, helps to find running clubs and give you inspo as to routes. Nike Run Club is also a great app to use to track your runs, and there are other great fitness watches like the Apple Watch and Fitbits. Get yourself on Google and find one that suits your needs best.

Download Strava on the App Store HERE

Download Strava on Google Play HERE

How to stay motivated:

- Have a race or a goal event that you train towards. Whilst most races for this year have been rescheduled, it's still worth planning some for later in the year or even for next year. Having these goalposts as something to aim toward will really keep you going!

- And whilst we wait for the races to return to our diaries, do as David has done and set yourself your own challenges like running every road in your neighbourhood! You will be amazed at how much distance you will cover just by doing this.

- If you did have a race that was supposed to be coming up, keep the date in and run the same distance in your neighbourhood! Just because the official event has been rescheduled, don't let this stop you achieving your goals, if you plan safely and in your neighbourhood then go for it!

- When this is all over, join a community or group to run with. e.g Running Department!

What to listen to?

If you're like us you might need some podcasts or good playlists to listen to? Some of our recs:


- Run Pod with Jenni Falconer. Jenni is a radio host in the UK but is passionate about running. She interviews different celebrities about their relationship with running and they always give you motivation if you are listening whilst on a run - we love this!

- Table Manners with Jessie Ware and her mum. They interview different celebs whilst they eat a home cooked meal and talk about life and of course FOOD! It's such a fun, light hearted listen.

- Deliciously Ella with Ella Mills. This is great for picking up ideas on living more mindfully, discussing relationships with mental health, food, exercise etc. Really interesting!

Spotify Playlist:

Sophie made this playlist (lol) for herself which you are obvs more than welcome to run to if you like a good mix of 90s R&B plus 00s emo pop... no hate plz.

However, if you are like David then also listening to absolutely nothing can be incredibly powerful, particularly if you want to use your running time to meditate, think and just be with yourself without the distractions of music or people nattering in your ear.

We then asked David some more general reflective questions since coronavirus has hit, that we also encourage you to ask yourself. The full answers are of course in the episode, but we have summarised his answers here because we felt they were really beautiful and important to share:

Q: What do you miss the most:

A: Being with friends and family. Zoom is just not the same.

Q: What's the one thing you do NOT miss:

A: Not having the traffic and the noise and the usual 'being busy' and business of the city.

Q: What's one thing you have learned?

A: Lockdown has reminded me of how little I need to be happy. Though it feels like there are a lot of inconveniences, or things I've lost access to, during this period I look back on that period of gratefulness and gratitude and just am thankful to have another 24 hours in front of me. I listened to a Ted Talk recently by Brother David Steindl Rast and he says that there are lots of things we can't be grateful for (like this Pandemic) but we can be grateful in every moment. So whatever the situation, we can still bring gratitude. We always have enough to be happy.

Watch the TedTalk here.

Q: What are you most grateful for?

A: This is going to sound cheesy, but I have been inspired and amazed by the gestures of human kindness and compassion that have come up during this very challenging time. We are facing unprecedented challenges, and at the same time I am seeing so many acts of kindness, generosity and it is so so inspiring so i am really grateful and thankful for that as well. And I hope that remains even after this Covid situation.

And some tips on how to be more of an ECO CONSCIOUS RUNNER:

1) Make sure you're getting proper mileage out of your shoes. Stop buying new trainers for the sake of fashion or just cos you want to.

2) Invest in brands who are pushing to be more more sustainable or are using recycled materials in their products. We love what Adidas, Veja, Nimble and Girlfriend are doing in this space right now.

3) If you're going on long runs and are taking gels with you, opt for gels that come in recyclable packets.

4) Instead of using public transport, run to or from the grocery store/work/friends house if you can. Get your run done and dusted whilst at the same time getting from A to B. So productive!

And don't forget that whilst we are under Circuit Breaker restrictions, we must make sure to go out running only by ourselves. It's only for a short while, but if we stick together and adhere to the rules, we will come out of this the other side. #SGUnited

Get yours trainers on and get yourself out the door for a run!

You will never go on a run you will regret.

Sophie & Lizzy x

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