The broadcaster has said it felt like there was “no escape” from the realities of the pandemic, but credited running with helping her to clear her mind.
Speaking to Runner’s World UK, Sophie said: “It was the first story I’ve ever done where it wasn’t something you could escape. After all, it’s affecting your life as much as everybody else’s.
“This has been like no story I’ve done before. At work we live and breathe it, there’s no escape whatsoever. I did start to feel really claustrophobic. Everybody’s world is just that bit smaller.”
Explaining how her passion for running has helped, Sophie continued: “Running – particularly when I can go at the weekend and run free in the countryside – has become a real escape. I love it.
“It makes me really happy. I can just run along, not see anyone, get lung-fulls of fresh air and not think about anything at all. It just silences your brain.”
She added that running ultramarathons has helped her take things as they come, saying: “What I learned then – and recently, with Covid, I have tried to apply it to life more generally – is that when everything seems to be terribly overwhelming, just take small steps.
“Some of those sand dunes, I’d look up and think: ‘There’s just no way I will get up there.’ But then I’d think: ‘No, look down. Look at your feet. Take small steps. Just concentrate on them and you will get there eventually.’”
The full interview is in the new issue of Runner’s World UK is on sale from December 3 and also available as a digital edition.