THE coronavirus pandemic has affected every single aspect of our daily lives – and it’s no different for athletes. The last time Jo Pavey can remember anything vaguely close to this was the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001, during which the closure of places such as Bushy Park and Richmond Park merely made life a little uncomfortable for those training in London.
The current situation is on a scale which no-one has seen before, of course, and rarely has the 2014 European 10,000m champion felt more fortunate to live in rural Devon, surrounded by space and room to run – for as long as government measures allow, at least.
Yet, like anyone who had a training plan in mind this year, Pavey is having to think again. Her bid to reach a sixth Olympics is now on hold, while a more immediate goal had been the Antrim Coast Half Marathon which was due to take place on March 21.
It has since been rescheduled to mid-September and has provided at least something of a foundation around which to build a long-term plan. In the middle of constant uncertainty there is something resembling an anchor point and a new focus.
It is the ability to find flexibility and quickly switch focus towards new goals, says the 46-year-old, which is likely to be of greatest use during this time when so many people are looking for clarity, as well as a reason to keep on training.
It’s why Pavey believes that those who have had their spring marathon aspirations pushed back to the autumn are, in fact, the lucky ones.
“We’ve all got to replan and make new goals,” she says. “A lot of events I was excited to be involved with have all been postponed or cancelled but we’ve all got to face these challenges.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
WHEN looking for a trail or off-road running shoe, it’s often all about the grip. However, given that no two paths are the same, careful consideration is required. What’s the terrain like where you’ll wear the shoes the most? If you’ll be negotiating soft, wet and muddy conditions then look for deeper lugs. For tackling gravel tracks and forest trails then more evenly spaced lugs will work better. When it comes to cushioning, consider how hard the ground will be; if it’s soft then you’ll be fine in low-profile shoes, but on those firmer tracks reasonable cushioning will be called for.
WHEN it comes to ‘over-pronation’, a common question is ‘how much is over?’. With no hard and fast rules, it’s best to choose a shoe that instinctively feels right. Gait analysis can often assist in helping you make this choice and your specialist running store is always a good place to start if in doubt. To help you make that choice, here’s a selection of some of the best ‘support’ shoes around.
Need for speed
THE racing shoe segment of the market is becoming somewhat split. This is partially due to the rise of carbon-plated footwear but also the fact that many shoes are becoming much lighter. Here we take a look at some of the leading contenders to toe the line in.
You'd have had to have been running on a different planet to miss all the recent debate about carbon-plated shoes. The talk of bans and performance enhancement has been so widespread that even non-runners are asking their running friends about the potentially magical footwear.
Tributes for Lindsay Dunn
BRENDAN FOSTER, CHARLIE SPEDDING AND OTHERS SAY FAREWELL TO ONE OF BRITAIN’S MOST PROLIFIC AND ADMIRED ENDURANCE COACHES
TRAVEL TO THE CAYMAN ISLANDS IN DECEMBER FOR A RACECATION LIKE NO OTHER
Tokyo Olympics are postponed
2020 GAMES AND PARALYMPICS ARE NOW SET TO TAKE PLACE NEXT YEAR
Switching your focus
FIVE-TIME OLYMPIAN JO PAVEY TELLS EUAN CRUMLEY WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO FIND YOUR ADAPTABILITY IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON TRAINING
IN LIGHT OF THE CORONAVIRUS, MATT LONG ENCOURAGES YOU TO IMPROVISE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY WHILE JOHN SHEPHERD PROVIDES SOME FURTHER THOUGHTS AND PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS
In my genes
OUR SERIES ON OLYMPIANS AND THEIR OFFSPRING CONTINUES WITH TRIPLE JUMPERTURNED-CHEF FRANCIS AGYEPONG AND HIS DAUGHTER CASSIOPEIA