How to Stay Fit at Home with Ellie Lacey
Written By: Ellie Lacey
Team GB athlete and world champion transplant runner Ellie Lacey, joins us for our latest #NoFunStandingStill AT HOME session to share her incredible story and top tips for staying fit as we stay at home.
Three years ago, an otherwise healthy and fit runner, Ellie Lacey, who loved her running, travel and adventures, suffered sudden and catastrophic liver failure and was given only 48 hours to live. Saved by an organ donor, Ellie pulled through, going on to become a world champion transplant athlete, representing Great Britain in the World Transplant Games.
Ellie credits three key factors for her survival – her amazing organ donor, an incredible NHS and running, the latter of which formed an intrinsic part of her physical and mental recovery.
Currently self-isolating, Ellie shares her very special story and her top tips for staying motivated and fighting fit at home.
Ellie’s Top Tips
During lockdown and self-isolation it’s much trickier to keep our running form and general health and fitness on track. Drawing from her own experience that running and being in good health prior to her transplant was crucial in her survival, Ellie has formulated two broad categories of tips to help us keep our running fitness and wellbeing in top shape during this time.
1. Find Yourself New Targets
With races cancelled, visualising the finishing line, a medal or the huge sense of achievement we feel when completing an upcoming race is no longer an option to keep us motivated. However, there are plenty of other ways we can challenge ourselves and keep our training on track. Ellie recommends:
Making the Most of Strava Segments
- Find a Strava segment local to you, for example a hill climb and target it.
- Strava Segments gives you not only a target, but specific training work you’ll need to get there, for example tempo work or long intervals.
- Give yourself 4-6 weeks to work on each segment and then find a new one.
- If you can’t find a segment, create your own.
Creating a Time Trial Loop
- Use a loop that works for you and a distance you enjoy, for example your favourite 5K.
- If you’re self-isolating, you can do loops of your garden.
- Time yourself once a month and track your progression.
Do Something to Complement your Running
- With more time on our hands this is a good time to work on the areas we tend to neglect, for example foam rolling, strength work, Pilates or stretching.
- By taking the time to work on our weaker areas now, we can come back out as better, stronger runners later.
2. Keep Yourself Fighting Fit
It’s never been more important to keep ourselves as fit and healthy as possible. While it’s important to do what we can to maintain our base fitness, this also needs to be balanced with avoiding fatigue and overdoing high intensity activities that can compromise our immune systems. Ellie recommends the following to balance staying fit without fatigue.
Balance Volume with Intensity
- Not every session should be a high intensity effort.
- Make sure to balance one or two short and sharp intense sessions every week with a rest day or 30-minute easy run the day after.
- Be mindful about how much rest and recovery your body is getting.
Add Sprints to Your Easy Runs
- Do this once a week on one of your easy run days.
- Add in 4-6 sprints at the end of your run, lasting for 10-12 seconds.
- Make sure you have a decent amount of recovery in between – around a minute.
- This has the benefit of improving your neuromuscular memory without fatigue.
Look After Your Diet
- It’s even more important to mindful of your nutrition during lockdown.
- Give your immunity a boost by ensuring your diet is healthy and nutritious.
- Consider whether you may need to add any supplements while you’re staying indoors.
Ellie’s Typical Training Week
- 2 x 40 minute steady runs
- 2 x intense sessions eg. hills or interval sessions
- 2 x easy runs
- 1 x rest day
Sportsshoes.com’s #NoFunStandingStill AT HOME initiative features exclusive advice and workouts from our ambassadors and experts, helping runners and all fitness enthusiasts to stay motivated, fit and active – at home. Tune in via @sportsshoes Instagram for our latest livestreams covering everything you need to know from stretching and mobility to nutrition and motivating playlists.
For more advice for on training, and nutrition for runners, check out the SportsShoes.com Running Hub