Fighting the January Blues

At Leonard Design Architects we firmly believe in the social benefits of exercise and more importantly team exercise. To combat those January/Post-Christmas and now lockdown blues we have launched two initiatives to get everyone happy and healthy in 2021.

21% Running Challenge

The first initiative is our 21% Running Challenge through the Leonard Design Architects running club. In the warm sunny days of Lockdown 1 the club was regularly accumulating a massive 300km a week, but the change in season has knocked the weekly total down to a more modest 77km last week.

We’d love to see more names on the weekly leader board, and to get that mileage back up to those heady numbers, we thought this would be a great way to put our best foot forward in 2021.

Over the 4 weeks of the challenge, Lewis Kirk from our Nottingham office will be reprising his role as club statistician: tracking everyone’s progress and taking us on a virtual mystery tour of the UK (and hopefully beyond?!) based on our weekly mileage. Will we be trekking from Lands’ End to John O’Groats or just to the shops and back? Only time will tell…

What is the challenge?

The challenge will be a team challenge where we try to improve the LDA Runners Strava club total mileage by 7% each week to a total improvement of 21% by the end of January 2021.

The 4 week challenge calendar will look like this:

Why 7%?

Firstly because having our total improvement over the 4 weeks being 21% for 2021 is neat and satisfying, but by using a percentage also allows everyone to contribute evenly. You are your own benchmark – if you start at 1km and hit 1.21km by week four you have done your part! Each individual weekly increase is intentionally small and safe – we don’t want any injuries! The real challenge lies in hitting your weekly target each week for four weeks so that we can reach our club goal.

How do I join?

If you would like to take part in the challenge you will need to:

  1. Download and install the Strava app
  2. Join the Leonard Design Runners club. If you’re already in the club you are automatically entered into the challenge.
  3. Record your runs throughout the week on Strava and your activity will automatically be added to the club total
  4. Walkers are also welcome! Follow the above steps and either record your walk as a run in the app -or- once your activity is complete, edit your Strava activity to change its category to “run” so that it is recorded on the club leader board.

We’re looking forward to seeing as many names join us as possible.


Our second initiative is truly going to help us fight those January blues as we have teamed up with BOXRAW founder Ben Amanna, who will be launching a series of boxing exercises throughout the month and showing us all tips, tricks and training routines to get us all engaged with boxing.

BOXRAW isn’t just a sports retailer, their Boxing is Love charity aims to rebuild a culture of independence, greatness and courage throughout the third world. Their first mission is in Liberia, a country where 70% of the population are under the age of 25 due to the ruinous civil war that has scarred the nation.

Boxing is Love aims to rebuild communities and inspire children through the use of boxing gyms and sports facilities to inspire perseverance, determination and the necessary hope to empower progress.

Leonard Design Architects has been responsible for the concept design of the first new-build project in Liberia by BOXRAW. The gym near Gbarnga City will be constructed predominantly for shipping containers and scaffolding to create a vast amount of flexibility in design, this being key for the brand, as they wish to expand their reach to multiple locations.

It’s this dedication to being more than just a retailer that allows brands such as BOXRAW to create longevity for their business, whilst making the world a better place which makes us at Leonard Design Architects so much more exciting to work with them and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Boxing is Love. In the meantime, we can all get fitter in January and most importantly, have fun doing so.