All New Zealanders are coping with some form of change right now. Of course, there is the overarching change that we are all facing simultaneously of a global pandemic (and for all you Aucklanders out there; a second round of Level 3 restrictions), but within this there are micro changes that are unique to each individual. Whether it is within ourselves, our close friends or family, or in the workplace. Change, right now, is almost inevitable.

Change isn’t new. Perhaps it’s just in a phase of gross amplification. At the Lab, everyone we see is in a process of either experiencing change, or striving towards change, and we get the joy of being able to walk alongside people through this process. For some of our Lab Locals they have had change rapidly thrust upon them in a form of an injury- often altering their ability to work, perform their everyday tasks and to get out and do the activities in which they enjoy. For a lot of other Lab Locals that come through the clinic, they are striving towards a unique goal of change. It could be the goal of getting out of pain, working on an injury that they have had for a long time, running their first 5km or running their 10th marathon. Everyone’s focus is completely different, but the one thread that ties them all together is that in order to achieve their goals, there needs to be an element of change. It is important to acknowledge that working with or toward change not only involves a physical shift, say in circumstance, but a mental/emotion shift and a physiological shift too.  

With change comes the setting of goals and benchmarks that we strive towards, ultimately a sense of progression can help us move forward and seek further achievements. But in a time of such uncertainty it can sometimes feel like our goals and benchmarks are constantly being forced to alter which, left unchecked, can lead to a feeling of hopelessness or apathy.

With most of the Sports Lab crew being runners ourselves, we recognize the heart sink that comes with all our favourite running events being either cancelled or postponed. It is disappointing for all those involved, from organisers to runners. Event postponement or cancellation can be incredibly demotivating, and while grieving the loss of something that you have worked towards is safe and healthy, this shouldn’t be long term before you get back up on that horse and look for something else to aim for.

Here are a few ideas that here at Sports Lab we see benefit in focusing on during the coming months:

  • Focusing on our health. While yes, exercise can add to our health, health is a very broad spectrum and we should be looking at other elements. Just because someone may be running daily, this doesn’t necessarily make them a healthy person. Focusing on your health might look like addressing factors such as reducing training load, improving nutrition, and assessing what our physiology is doing and what we can do to improve it. There’s a great (biased opinion) blog series on redefining health on our website which you might find an interesting read.
  • Recovery – It is no secret that recovery is important, but it is often the thing that gets missed as we build our training around our busy lives. With so many well organised events and beautiful courses to choose from, we can often overload our training diaries and never really achieve full recovery before we’re on to trying to beat our mates time at the next running event. Whilst having healthy competition is a wonderful thing, there can be the tendency to be overdoing it which can have negative impact on our performance as well as our injury risk. During this period of recovery you could look at factors such as sleep, breathing, or even check out Becky’s Pilates videos on our Youtube channel.
  • Focus on your rehab. One of the most common excuses for not doing rehab is that life just gets a little too busy. While we completely understand this as we are often in the same boat, working from home and not having a diary full of running events means that we may have a bit more spare time in our days. We’ve been continuing to help people through their rehab process via our good ole friend Zoom, and it’s been so encouraging seeing the progress people are making in their rehab just from a little more time and effort put in. Taking the time to focus on the things to keep the body moving and feeling good should be a primary focus all the time, but especially now.

While the Sports Lab team are missing congratulating you all at the finish line with a post-race massage, we’re continuing to see your lovely faces on our computer screens and are enjoying seeing the progress you are all making. If you need help with any of the above, feel free to reach out to us and see how we can best help you. Whether this is talking through options to help create a rehab programme at home or helping to get you focused as your goals have now shifted, we are here to help make things a little easier. In saying that, we can’t wait to see you at your next event!