A Personal View on the Queen’s 5K

by Domhnall Lynam  

Today is Wednesday 25th March, I have had this date engraved in my mind for quite a while now. The Queen’s 5k Race Around the River was scheduled for tonight and I was intending to run it. I am a member of Queen’s Athletics club and Enniskillen Running Club. I had volunteered to help with registration on the days prior to the event. As a club we were all really looking forward to the event. I had been in pretty good shape since Christmas and I was looking forward to the possibility of a 5k PB. However, PBs and running times now seem trivial as across the world people are self isolating in an attempt to curtail the coronavirus. All races and events have been postponed or cancelled. On the grand scheme of things we’ve realised that Athletics is not really that important. It seems everything has been stripped back and we’re left with all that matters; family, friends and basic food essentials. 

Many runners may struggle to find motivation over the coming weeks as group training sessions are cancelled. However, as runners I feel that we should all be grateful that for the most part our daily training regimes remain unaffected. Running is a simple sport in many ways; a decent pair of shoes and some basic sports clothing and you’re off. No specialised equipment or facilities. For this we should be grateful compared to swimmers or footballers for instance. 

I believe that as runners we must take the positives from this extended period of rest and lack of races. It is a chance to have some time off and to give our poor legs a break. Research continually shows that most runners are under recovered and over-trained. Now we have an opportunity to rest any niggles and pains. 

Furthermore, just because there is no official races doesn’t mean that we can’t challenges ourselves with a personal time trial. For instance run a 5K time trial this week and then again in 3-4 weeks time. It will act as an effective barometer as to how our own individual training is progressing. 

To conclude, we should all continue to train over the coming weeks for the body, mind and soul. Experts tell us that we should not overdo our training because this puts pressure on our immune systems. Be grateful for the gift of running and that you have the ability to get out and train. It’ll be race time again before we know it. Enjoy the journey!