Tom Ford’s new leather scent is as sophisticated as they come
Tom Ford’s new leather scent is as sophisticated as they come

Holly O'Neill

How to deal with failure: 4 tips on how to recover from a setback
How to deal with failure: 4 tips on how to recover from a setback

Colette Sexton

The ‘Friends’ cast just launched their first official limited-edition merch collection
The ‘Friends’ cast just launched their first official limited-edition merch collection

Sarah Finnan

A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics so far
A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics...

Sarah Finnan

Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs
Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs

Sarah Finnan

Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children...

Amanda Cassidy

What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother
What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother

Sophie White

The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage
The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage

Melanie Morris

Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list
Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list

Sarah Finnan

Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety
Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety

Jennifer McShane

Image / Self

Pandemic running: ‘Pre-coronavirus, my challenge for 2020 was to strengthen my lungs’


by IMAGE
14th Sep 2020
blank

At the start of this year, Ruth promised herself that 2020 was going to be the year she started running properly, with the sole purpose of strengthening her lungs. Then a global respiratory virus arrived in Ireland. 


I’ve suffered with asthma since I was a tot and pre-pandemic, I did not want to endure my usual winter of lung infections and everything that comes with them. I was going to strengthen my lungs. I was going to run.

I started running in January while still enjoying the Christmas break at home in Cork. I kept it up when I got back to Dublin and was living off Merrion Square. I felt those heavy running legs while trotting around the square most evenings. Knowing that each lap was 1km, I’d pound the pavement while a running app I was using coached me through each significant pace. It felt good, like I was part of a training group. I technically was, too. A friend of mine in work had also decided to start fast moving legs in 2020 so every morning we would discuss our track from the day before.

The running app helped me for the first few months. It allowed me reach a personal goal but I noticed that it was also turning something once enjoyable into a task. It nearly felt like I was reporting to a manager at one stage; checking my pace, time and distance. I was left with a gnawing worry about beating my score the next time. Pandemic fatigue has since set in. Or perhaps the energy that allowed me to run every other day a few months, was killed by a running app?

I continued to run without using the app. Instead, I set a timer on my phone, knowing, generally, how long it would take me to run a certain amount of kilometers. I ran the same slog three or four times a week for a very short time but got fed up. That negative, unavoidable voice in my head started to be harder and harder to turn away. She would tell me my pace was worse than the day before, that my breathing was wrong and it just felt exhausting to manage it on top of powering through the workout.  I stopped altogether for a few weeks. I reminded myself that you go through these running phases. Instead of being ‘all in’ or ‘all out’ my goal was to get to that in between nirvana of Casual Jogs.

 I’ve always had pretty bad asthma. I’ve always had inhalers, and each winter there would be the inevitable bad cough or chest infection. There were nebulisers and hospital trips as a child. There were countless holistic treatments, like hanging my head over a big bowl of hot water with lavender essential oil misting up my lungs most evenings in winter. My mum believes “lavender will fix anything”. So this ability to run fast and for a long time meant a lot to me. I have kept running and I haven’t needed to use my inhaler as much since I embarked on this fitness journey. My lungs have been strengthened.

Pre-coronavirus, my challenge for 2020 was to strengthen my lungs. Now I need to strengthen my lungs in case I get the virus. I hit 10km in May.

I’ve gone back to the app. I can see that I’ve gone from running four to five times a week from March to June to now running once and maybe even twice a week. And as we enter into one of the scariest winters, I’m very thankful for my decision to build up my lungs. I’ll be trying to run a bit more and find more exciting ways to get the job done. Doing something is better than doing nothing.


Related: How running changed my life

Related: How a month of yoga helped me to run better, faster and longer

Related: Getting your gait analysed for a better run

Also Read

mom friend
PARENTHOOD
Mom is the loneliest number: Why we need Tinder for mums

Never underestimate the value of a good mom friend – someone you can talk about detailed sleep schedules with and...

By Sophie White

blank
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
Placing a parent in a nursing home is a decision you never want to have to make

Within five months, Kate White’s mother passed away, her father had a life altering stroke and she gave birth to...

By Kate White

blank
HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
Multi-organ transplant recipient: ‘I’m extremely aware that someone died for me to be here’

Adam Alderson is an adventurer. He’s travelled to Russia and back by car and sped across the Pyrenees on a...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
I took up yoga during lockdown, here is what the practice taught me

Fiona Lee started took up yoga at the beginning of the pandemic and now considers herself a classic convert. Here...

By IMAGE

blank
HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
‘I noticed the tiniest freckle on my ankle’: A young woman opens up about her skin cancer diagnosis

Everything changed for this IMAGE staff member when she was diagnosed with melanoma. Now, she’s encouraging young women to be...

By IMAGE

blank
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, FASHION
I don’t know who needs to read this, but wear the damn shorts

Gillian Roddy posted a photo of herself in her “shorts normally reserved for the privacy of the garden” because she...

By Gillian Roddie

blank
REAL-LIFE STORIES
Eimear Ryan: ‘Girls who play sport are forced to show that despite their unfortunate competitive streak, they’re still feminine girly girls’

While women are sometimes forgotten about in the GAA story, camogie player Eimear Ryan argues that the sport gives women...

By IMAGE