runner shot from ground up with sky above

Run4It Life in Lockdown

Will Stewart ~ Retail & Customer Service Manager

Situation

Homeworking in a makeshift office with 2 demanding pups and a wife who is working 2 days a week and off for 5.

First few days on the couch but proved uncomfortable for long periods of time so took to converting the spare room and committing to making a productive environment.

Challenges

Periods of uncertainty and feeling cut off from the team. Missing the interaction and face to face nature of working from our shops and the buzz and banter of the shop floor. Also missing trying out the new kit!

Successes

Home improvements! Finally converted and organised the spare room.

Running for fun again around personal challenges rather than race prep pressures.

Saved a fortune with not buying take away coffees and lunches every day.

More time spent doing…

I have managed to make a dent in the ever-growing pile of unread books. Re-read Orwell’s ‘Down and Out..’ to give some perspective on what feels like a challenging time and also reading the works of David Marquet to better our teams and our leadership in the business.

Also cleaned a lot which is unusual for me!

Top tips

Commit to a routine even when you don’t have to; run, shower, breakfast, work. I’ve found getting up with purpose makes me more productive throughout a day. I learned the hard way after rolling out of bed 5 mins before starting a day and struggling to get anything done.


Finlay McAndrew ~ Edinburgh Shop Assistant Manager & Triathlon Coach/Sports Scientist for What’s Your META

Situation

Working at home from a variety of positions. I’m not very good at staying in one place so I tend to orientate around the living room throughout the day.

My girlfriend has brought home her entire office and set it up in the kitchen so that’s a no-go area.

Challenges

As someone who trains for and races long distance triathlon, I’m actually pretty used to spending a lot of time on my own. However, I’m finding it difficult spending so much time indoors when I’m used to spending a lot of time out and about.

I usually train 2 or 3 times most days, so I have had to adapt my routine a lot and work on ways to stay fit for when the races do come.

Successes

With not being able to swim, I’ve upped my run mileage and clocked 3 consecutive weeks of 100+km. There’s been lots of good quality speed work in there too so it’s been very focused.

Find sources of information that you can use to fuel the fire.

~ Finlay

I’m doing all my cycling indoors on the turbo trainer. I’m lucky enough to be able to use a smart trainer and ride on Zwift which is just an amazing training tool and is saving me at the moment. I am targeting specific goals on the bike which I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to work on in the same way. I’m already seeing progress that will pay off when the racing comes.

More time spent doing…

Reading more books and trying to spend less time on my phone. It’s very easy to just spend far too long scrolling through social media and in front of a screen.

I’m reading Kicksology right now which I would highly recommend to anyone that’s interested in running shoes. Thanks to Will who gave me this as a present for my 30th.

Also trying to cook as much as possible and be more creative with recipes. With less trips to the shops, we’re planning further ahead and focusing on making meals that are as nutritious as possible. The temptation is to eat more convenience style foods right now and that’s the worst thing that you can do. 

Top tips 

Focus on what you’re in control of and forget about the things you can’t do anything about.

List 3 key things that you can make better over this period. This could be anything from improving your flexibility to being able to hold a plank for minute.

In 2017, 3-time Olympian and World Champion in Triathlon and Duathlon Tim Don, was hit by a truck while out on his bike a couple of days before the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Tim’s injuries were severe and he broke his neck. The break was bad enough that it could have been career ending and possibly worse. Tim’s best chance of a full recovery was to get fitted with a halo. This is a circular metal framework that is fixed directly into the skull and is supported by the shoulders. It’s excruciating but it immobilises the neck and provides the best chance of it healing properly.

Tim went from just setting the Ironman World record (7 hours and 40minutes) and about to compete for the title in the World Championships to not being sure if he would every compete again. Over the course of the following months, he worked on small goals and started to improve on the little things he could. 6 months later, most of which had involved wearing the halo, he was back on the start line at Boston marathon where he ran 2.49! By 2018, he was back racing Ironman and doing what he loved.

I try and draw inspiration from people like this and look at what can be achieved in situations which are much more challenging than mine. The human spirit is incredible and I would encourage you to find sources of information like this that you can use to fuel the fire. 


Catriona Welsh ~ Ecommerce and Marketing Assistant

Situation

I have been working from home for almost 1 year, maintaining website content and more recently I joined the Marketing team. My husband has worked from home for many years and we had established a routine that worked for us.

Things really changed for me when the schools were closed, and my quiet working environment was invaded by my 3 children, age 9, 12 and 13.

Challenges

Taking on teaching duties while trying to keep up with my task list for work. The constant feeling of guilt, balancing my time helping the kids with their schoolwork with the work that needs to be done.

It’s hard not to feel guilty about neglecting one when spending time on the other.

Finding some quiet time can be quite tough. Running alone has always been my escape from the hustle-bustle of the house. I’m now accompanied by at least one child when I go out for a walk or cycle for my daily exercise.

Find a routine that works for everyone.

~ Catriona

Successes

I’m learning Spanish! As a way of encouraging the kids with their work, we set everyone up with Duolingo and we are each learning either French or Spanish. I chose Spanish and I’m now on an 18 day streak of practising.

I get to spend more quality time with the kids. Although I miss running on my own, I am really enjoying getting out for a walk or cycle with the kids every day.

I’m getting fitter. I’m joining the kids to follow #PEWithJoe each morning. It’s a great start to the day, I have so much more energy when I sit down at my desk after jumping around the living room with the kids.

More time spent doing…

Playing board games as a family. There is only so much TV children can watch, so we have started playing card games or board games in the evening. It’s really good fun. King of Tokyo is our current favourite.

Algebra. Helping with maths schoolwork has really tested my memory!

Top tips

Find a routine that works for everyone. I set timeslots for each of the kids to ask for help or show me their completed tasks. It means I can concentrate on work without constant interruptions, and the kids sometimes work out the solution for themselves while they wait for their turn to ask questions.

Spend time outside, even on your rest days. We are living through unusual times and it can be quite overwhelming at times. I feel much more positive after a walk or cycle, or even a quick game of badminton in the garden.


Jason Kelly ~ Aberdeen Shop Assistant Manager

Situation

Fulfilling online orders, assisting with customer support and generally keeping things ticking over smoothly while the store doors remain shut. It’s definitely been an adjustment but I’m finding my feet now and getting into a bit of a routine which helps.

Challenges

It’s lonely! I think I’ve really under-appreciated how much I value having a job which allows so much varied interaction with some fantastic work colleagues and so many lovely customers, especially when we all share a common passion for running.

Successes

Running for enjoyment rather than race-specific training. I’ve also been adding in a few supplementary treadmill runs to keep the mileage up while staying in line with government recommendations.

Getting the neglected jobs done.

‘Virtual Pub Nights’ with friends – group video calls, drinks, games and banter – all from home!

More time spent doing…

Sleeping and recovering. Free evenings mean more time for foam-rolling! I’m also finding that I have been going to bed earlier and feeling much better in the mornings as a result. This will be something I aim to continue post-lockdown!

Top tips

Try to turn some of the negatives into positives. Having to work from home means you can spend the time you would otherwise have been commuting to do some extra recovery or strength work. Not being able to go out to bars or restaurants means you’ll save some money (to spend on some fancy new running shoes!). Above all else though, remember that this won’t last forever.


Lucy Taylor ~ Aberdeen Shop Manager

Situation

Isolated working from a dinner table in the middle of nowhere, with 6-week-old lambs passing the window and fresh baked goods – served up daily. Managing to restore the slightest resemblance of normality at the weekends by fulfilling online orders placed on our website: run4it.com.

Sometimes embracing the simple life is good for the heart and soul!

~ lucy

Not entirely adjusted to my new setup, however feeling grateful and fortunate that I am one of the few, able to continue my work from home, with uninterrupted views of hills, lush green trees and blue-sky through the kitchen window.

Challenges

Going from a lively energetic work environment where there is always something to do and people to chat to, to quietly plugging away at a variety of new jobs from behind a computer at home, where hours go by without talking to people, 

Successes

Setting work targets. Setting myself daily and weekly targets and crossing them off the list helps to provide focus and the satisfaction of getting things done (no matter how small the task).

Eating better. I’m not only saving money, but eating better and running better as a result. I’m less reliant on coffee and snacks to get me through the day! I would go as far to say I’m on my way to a better ‘me’ but my alcohol consumption has (admittedly) increased!

More time spent…

Planning better runs with the emphasis on fun. If I’m out once a day, it better be good!

After spending the day sitting in front of a laptop, the last thing I want to do in the evening is sit still. I run in the evenings taking advantage of the longer days and -deserted tracks and trails.

The run is usually followed by loud music and dancing around the kitchen whilst making dinner, an episode of a true-crime documentary on Netflix (recommendations always welcome!) and catch ups with friends and family on video calls. Sometimes embracing the simple life is good for the heart and soul!

Top tips 

Disconnecting from social media. This one is a good one and one I can recommend to all of you. For me switching off from social media has freed up a lot of time to pursue hobbies and pastimes and put me in a better headspace.


Romain Borgeal ~ Dundee Shop Assistant Manager & Content Writer 

Situation

Fulfilling online orders and working on content writing and planning for The Run4It Journal. 

I have a rather similar routine that keeps me busy and positive, I can’t complain about my situation! 

Challenges

Mastering the art of noodle making. It is hard to find pasta nowadays, so I’ve decided to make noodles from scratch… hard but I’m getting there! 

Successes

Training still going really well, even better than before. I’ve managed to do more strength & conditioning sessions and keep doing long runs. Because travelling to the hills is not essential travel, I’ve done a few long runs going round and round the local hill to get plenty of elevation (from 1,500 to 2,000m). It’s actually really good fun!

Cleaning and organising my running shoe rack. How can I have so many pairs?

More time spent doing…

I’m generally bad at replying to messages from my friends and family. The last couple of weeks I’ve been taking more time to stay in touch with them and reply within hours instead of days!   

Re-reading some of my favourite books! Brings back memories from when I read them for the first time and I discover them from another perspective. 

Top tips

Cut your time spent watching/reading the news and focus on the positives. You can run, read, learn, cook!  

There’s more to come…

Check back over the coming weeks, as more members of the Run4It team will be sharing their experience of working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown and offering top tips for making the most of the situation.