Running clubs across Scotland have responded to last Tuesday's (17 March) directive from Scottish Athletics and suspended training sessions and events to conform to 'social distancing' advice. However West End Road Runners (WERR) are attempting to keep their members 'ticking over' during this frustrating period by adopting a virtual dimension – WERRtualy WERR.
WERR, would under normal circumstances, hold three club sessions each week including Wednesday coaching from Colin Thomas. Current restrictions mean those sessions are on hold. However the club has quickly taken steps to fill this vacuum with a virtual initiative.
Regular Monday and Friday routes are posted online and this will continue with the proviso that members are advised not to meet or run in groups but to do the runs over a 2/3 day window individually.
In addition Colin Thomas' coached session has been adapted and is now being delivered in an online format via YouTube. Colin, a registered coach and exercise specialist well-known for his links to the Kenyan running community, staged his first digital session on Wednesday (18 March).
The 30-minute session was a combination of aerobic warm-up, strength and conditioning exercises and core workout. It was completed by guidance on an interval session (300m x 10).
WERR chairman Graeme Jack told runABC Scotland online: "The club has had a great response to the concept of operating virtually in general and to Colin's video session in particular."
He added: "Continuing to publish the weekly routes, the video session and interaction and encouragement via social media, has meant that WERR has been able to maintain a measure of normality at a time of genuine concerns and anxiety.
"We have been careful to operate within current guidelines around social distancing and we are continuing to monitor official advice and will adapt our virtual programmes to make sure our members and the broader community stay safe. However we're determined as a club to maintain the physical and mental well-being of our members."
Check out Colin Thomas' first virtual session video on YouTube below.