Walking and other kinds of torture – 5 things you can do when you can’t run

May 2013. It’s the middle of the night here in Australia. I can’t sleep. And I can’t run. Doctors orders. It’s a long story involving me and a beastly virus that sent me to hospital via a race.

I am trying to be positive but I’m getting the usual “running is bad for you” and “maybe you run too much” comments from almost everyone. So, keeping with the positive theme, here are some things you CAN do, when you cannot run:

1) Make yourself a new playlist – I’ve been scouring itunes, other peoples blogs and generally hunting around for new songs. Not that I run with music that much these days but I do have it for motivational moments and sometimes when it is called for on runs.

2) Organise your gear – if you are anything like me you have draws, piles, cupboards, and bags full of gear, piling up over the years, mostly due to the fact that I am always in a hurry to get out to run! The result is draws with running tops I never wear anymore at the bottom, old shoes I haven’t chucked out, and heaps of other stuff at the bottom of free bags I should have done something about a few years ago. Sort it out!

3) Cross train if you can – apparently I can do “light exercise” so anything that doesn’t get my heart rate up above 140bpm… I can walk, swim, cycle, weights -but only lightly, and... I am the crankiest walker ever!

4) Help others – currently I have more time. I’m not trying to squeeze two runs in school hours or running and cross training and food shopping and cooking and general life into small spaces of time. So, I have decided to help my fellow mums, athletes and friends in need until I am “back on track” as they say. This does make me feel better about myself, it really does.

5) Take the time to relax and let your body regenerate – hardest of all. I really don’t like relaxing unless I have run beforehand! But, obviously it needs to be done.

Facing the facts that your body needs time out can be hard, especially when you are unwell, it can be frustrating as a runner, but put your energy into other endeavours and you will be back to it when the time is right.