The COVID Diaries: Running in the time of coronavirus (part 4)

The COVID Diaries blog header

Welcome to the fourth edition of this blog series, catching up with runners and finding out how they coped with running in the time of coronavirus. 

Lockdown restrictions have been further relaxed in England now, with different rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In many ways, things are feeling somewhat more ‘normal’; there are even glimmers of hope for physical races to start taking place in the not-so-distant future. Virtual races are still ever popular at this time, giving runners motivation to get out there and keep running towards a goal.

In this blog, we catch up with runner and White Star Running cheerleader Lewis. Lewis very recently became a father – having a baby during lockdown presents plenty of new challenges for parents. So how has Lewis managed when it comes to sleepless nights, working from home, and training for a long-distance race?

Lewis Mutton

A newborn baby, working from home, 100-mile ultra training and a global pandemic aren’t things that go naturally together! You could say that Covid-19 has posed a rather unique set of challenges for me.

2019 was an amazing year of running for me. I managed a new PB across pretty much all distances, completed my first 50-mile ultra and also my first double marathon weekend. So, on 1st March this year I decided that I needed a bigger, harder challenge and I entered my first 100-mile ultra: Centurion NDW 100 (8th August 2020).

Knowing my first baby was due on the 3rd April, I already had an almost perfectly clear calendar from March, not knowing what fatherhood would be like or if I would cope well with an unpredictable sleep pattern. In my head this meant I should have plenty of time to fit in long training runs. At this point in time I was naive. I had absolutely no idea of what was to come…

Unexpected challenges

Now, I’m not sure about anyone else, but ordinarily I don’t mind going for long runs when I’m training for a race. It turns out, however, that feeling completely disappears when you don’t know whether the race you’re training for is actually going to go ahead or not, and you’ve got the cutest little baby boy laying in front of you wanting attention.

Ted is three months old, lockdown is gradually easing and I’m now a few weeks out from NDW 100. (As I write this the current situation is that it’s going ahead – fingers crossed nothing changes!). In the run up I’ve had to battle with learning how to keep a baby alive on limited sleep; come to grips with working from home to the soundtrack of a newborn baby crying; and also had to deal with a period where I was only allowed to run for a recommended 1 hour a day…

Ready to run 100 miles?

In spite of all these things, I’ve still managed a fair few long runs, including a 50-mile weekend. I’ve also been trying out using baby food pouches for nutrition. (I would totally recommend it – at the end of my 50 miler last year even the though of anything sweet made me feel sick). And I’ve been getting out early doors to still have the best part of the day to spend with my fiancé and little baby Ted!

Not too long to go now! Hopefully all the training and time away from baby Ted will be worth it once the race is finished and I have my bling, coupled with a massive dose of pride and a sense of achievement second to none. Then I can go back to being a full time super dad part time runner again (Until I decide I need another big challenge!)

To find out how I get on, find me on Instagram: @Runner_Lewis

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