11 things that go through your head when you start running because of lockdown

Why did I think this was a good idea?

The second wave of lockdown has been tough for everyone. Not going to pubs and restaurants is hard, but it’s not nearly as big of an inconvenience as the gyms all closing again, meaning a key part of many people’s daily routine has been compromised. Whilst we’re all annoyed and frustrated, many have turned to the big outdoors to get their exercise fix.

Sussex students are amongst the luckiest in the country, being surrounded by a national park and the endless fields of the South Downs to explore. Brave the rain, hills and ridiculous amounts of mud and you’ll definitely feel a lot better afterwards, but what goes through your head during the run is a completely different matter.

I can do this

Another cloudy, cold November afternoon. My legs are starting to shiver, but I’m feeling more motivated than I have in a long time. What could possibly go wrong?

I am speed

Wow – I’m feeling really good. Feeling motivated, feeling strong and feeling fast. I bet I could complete this in record time. Maybe break a world record too, if I feel like it. Eat your heart out Usain Bolt.

It’s kinda muddy

Oh yeah, I forgot it’s November. It’s muddy, slimy, and the path is full of wet leaves and dog poo. I better watch my step.

More mud

Need I say more? Someone please tell me summer is going to be soon.

I really should have worked out more

I wish I had put more effort into cardio, and after running up that long, muddy hill, my lungs feel like they’re going to burst. I’m definitely feeling more insecure about how I’ve worked out. How far have I got left?

Anger and frustration

What’s that I see up ahead? Of course, it’s another huge hill. Although I feel out of shape and slow, somehow I will make it up the hill, even though my ankles hurt and my knees are weak. Surely they’ll be a big reward as a result of completing this? Surely?


Unless mud is somehow a reward for doing something hard, I have clearly not been rewarded. But surely, it will get easier? Right?

The new me

The mud, leaves and slime are part of my life now, and are becoming an increasingly large component of my running shoes. They’re barely even shoes at this point: at least fifty per cent dirt.

Going downhill

I assumed that going downhill would be easier, but in this weather? Absolutely not. I think I’m actually going slower, as the unthinkable barrage of leaves and rocks make me one hundred times more paranoid about falling over.

Home straight

Oh my god – is that the bottom of the hill? I’ve made it! I’ve done it! Running in the cold and rain was worth it – I have no regrets. Except…


I need to run back.