The shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have prompted many people to start running as other methods of staying fit have been extremely restricted. During the peak of the pandemic, the Couch to 5k app, designed to guide UK beginners or those taking a break from running, to a 5k run was downloaded 92% more than the previous year, and the use of other tracking apps like MapMyRun and Strava has grown exponentially. In Turkey, the rate of those who run at least once a week has increased to 48.2%, while 86.4% of those who are interested in running sport stated that they run more often after the pandemic.
Contrary to the general situation, a person who came to the point of running a marathon in just three years after starting to run realized that the running process had almost come to a standstill.
Bess’ running process
Bess, 29, says she first started running in 2017.
“I had done dancing, fitness, the gym, hiking, but I had never tried running. I think it started as an experiment to use my body in a new direction. I wanted to challenge myself to do something completely different.”
Bess admits she had a hard time running at first. He had a hard time breathing properly and overcoming the thought that he couldn’t run.
But in the three years since she started running, Bess has managed to complete two charity 5k runs, 10k runs and three half marathons, including the Hackney Half Marathon in London.
Since the longest distance Bess had run before she ran her first half marathon was approximately 15 km, suddenly running twice the routine distance was a big step for her.
Bess says: “I felt that this was the hardest thing I did at the time. In preparation for the half marathon, although I ran up to 15km on weekends for several months, nothing was enough to prepare for my first half marathon.”
But when the day came, Bess loved her first half marathon experience. “It was a tremendous experience to run across London with the cheering crowds.” says.
“It was exhausting and emotional, but the runners around me inspired me a lot. I drew strength from them and my roadside friends to keep running, and completed my first half marathon in two and a half hours. Not a bad rating for someone running a half marathon for the first time!
“After my first half marathon I couldn’t wait to run again and signed up for my second half marathon the following week!”
Next step: Marathon!
Bess aimed to complete her first marathon after falling ill with running.
“Every runner secretly dreams of running a marathon, right?”
“When I heard that the Cancer Research Society is seeking volunteers for the 2020 London Marathon, I said yes without much thought!”
Searching for different training programs on the internet, Bess started to prepare with a strict training program. He planned to steadily extend the distance he covered in 12 weeks by running a few short runs during the week and a long run on Sunday.
“I also started weight training with a personal trainer to make sure my legs are strong enough. I tracked my diet and especially what I ate the night before a long run to discover where I gained the most energy.”
Bess was able to extend her running distance up to 29 km when the closures began.
Change of plan
Bess was devastated when she learned that the 2020 London Marathon would be delayed by 19 months to October 2021. “After running 29 km non-stop, I felt so ready that I was very disappointed.”
Like many people, Bess was confined to her home and could not find the energy and patience to train. The running program has come to a complete standstill.
“Running is a kind of therapy for me, but this period was very difficult for me as I could not do it.”
After a while, Bess noticed that her friends were running out of the house; Moreover, some of them were running for the first time. This inspired him to go out and start training again.
“I felt like I was running for the first time. The extraordinary support of my friends and family, even people I don’t know, has given me tremendous strength!”
“Running gave me peace of mind when the world was grappling with disasters, and it helped me keep my balance when I was struggling with problems.”
back to the past
Bess is back on track as she prepares for the London Marathon, which has been postponed to October 2021. Moreover, she feels more fit than ever before, both physically and mentally.
“Running takes my thoughts away from everyone and everything.”
“I still have bad days, but I remember how my good days felt and I’m building up my courage. “
“My only regret is that I didn’t start running sooner!”