async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: 10 Things Runners Can Do to While Waiting to Outrun the Coronavirus

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

10 Things Runners Can Do to While Waiting to Outrun the Coronavirus

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Coronavirus is spreading rapidly and people are being asked to curtail their activities. Social distancing is the phrase of the moment and means we have to avoid close contact with others. Bars and restaurants are closed. Handshakes-heck, even fist bumps, are out. Events are being cancelled. That includes races. The Tokyo Marathon? Cancelled. The Boston Marathon? The London Marathon? The Berlin Marathon? All postponed to September. Interestingly, 5 of the 6 World Marathon Majors will be held in the fall this year.

All of my spring races have been cancelled or postponed, except for one, which was a DNS for me. My running club has cancelled all of its group runs. My CrossFit box is closed. What's a runner to do? I'm not good at sitting still and I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling a little directionless. No worries! I've got a list of 10 things to keep that running fire burning.


Opt outside.
Running outside is the safe choice right now. Think about the spread of germs indoors. Groups of people inside is like being in a petri dish. When you run indoors in a gym, it's more difficult to maintain the recommended 6 foot distance from others, unless the treadmills that far apart. The indoor air dries out your nasal mucosa, making your nose more permeable to germs. Equipment might not be as clean as it should be. Wiping the sweat from your face is risky, as you could inoculate yourself with the virus. Even if you have a home treadmill, take it outside. Running outside in the natural light is a natural mood booster. Who couldn't use a little of that right now?

Just remember not to run in groups and keep your distance from others. Going early is the best way to avoid the crowds. Face coverings are recommended if you are around others.

Try trail running.
Trails are natural social distancers. While some trails are wider than others, single track trails lend themselves to solo running. Trail running will find muscles you never knew you had before as you navigate uneven terrain. It's a great way to mix things up and you might even fall in love with it.


Pick a race for the fall. 
With all the spring races being cancelled or postponed, there will most likely be a lot of fall races to choose from! Even if it's a spring race you've run before that has been postponed to the fall, running it in the fall will most likely be a different experience.

Train for a new distance. 
Are you a long distance runner? Here's a free virtual race you can get your head around right now. Here's another one--the race shirt will make you laugh. Or think about training for a shorter distance race like a 5k or better yet, a mile! Mixing things up can make running feel fresh. Training is different and you might even like the new distance. Better yet, the speed work you do for a shorter distance will be beneficial when you pick up training for a half or a full again.

Cross Train.
My motto is "runners can't live on miles alone". Take advantage of this downtime to work on your posterior chain and core. This home workout from my friend Coach Debbie is a great place to start. It really is all about that bass.

Listen to motivational music or a podcast.
Feeling unmotivated without anything to train for? I'm not a podcaster, but I do listen to music that pumps me up and makes me feel good. I also use music to pace myself, especially when I'm feeling fatigued. No one needs to know what you're listening to, so whatever it takes to keep those legs moving, right? Nickelback, anyone? There's no shame in that game. If you need some motivation, check out my pandemic playlist.


Watch a movie about running.
On the flight home from Florida, I watched a documentary called Skid Row Marathon. Inspirational and moving, it's the true story about a judge in Los Angeles who wanted to do something to keep the repeat offenders he saw in his courtroom from returning to the system. He visited a rehabilitation facility on Skid Row and was asked by the director if he could help in any way. A long time runner, he started the Skid Row Running club. The program has grown over the years and has many success stories. This movie will make you feel good about being a runner.

Read a book about running.
I just reviewed Amanda Brooks' new release, Run to the Finish, which is full of inspiration and instruction to motivate you to get out the door. Maybe we can't run a race right now, but we can train for one, right? Coronavirus isn't going to be around forever. I have more suggestions from my running book club here.

Shop for new running clothes.
Spring is here and freshening up your running wardrobe with new running clothes will make you feel like a new runner! Ok, maybe not, but it is fun to run in new gear. On a budget? Put a smile on your face with one of these sassy saying t-shirts that everyone is wearing right now!

Let "just running" remind you of why you started to run.
Running without a goal or a plan feels good. Why did you start running in the first place? For me, I started running for stress relief. Once I got my head around all my races being cancelled or postponed, I eagerly laced up for a trail run with no attention to pace or distance. I let my feet fly on the straighaways and I carefully navigated the single track trails with the tree roots. I heard birds singing and ran along the creek, listening to the water flow. This is the kind of running we need right now.

"Afterwards, jogging home, I felt the familiar rush-the satisfaction that comes from reaffirming your resilience to no one but yourself, your ability to endure."~Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Magazine
What are you doing to keep moving during the outbreak? Any podcast suggestions for the podcasters out there? What's your favorite running movie? Running book? Will you be joining me in the virtual COVID19 run ?

Social distancing putting a cramp in your running? Here are 10 things you can do to stay sane /via @oldrunningmom #runchat #running #coronavirus #socialdistancing 

I'm linking up with I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics and with the Runners' Roundup: DebbieDeborahSmithaJenRachel, and Lisa.

 

45 comments :

  1. No to 19 miles, no thanks, but yes to running. And to getting outside (as long as we're able to!). I'm still taking it easier than normal, still recovering (even though I was never terribly sick), but luckily I am good at being still and I still have lots of stuff I'm working on.

    I have a lot inspirational movies I enjoy! Not necessarily about running.

    McFarland, USA
    Race
    Secretariat (he may be a horse, but it's a really inspiring movie)
    The Rookie (ditto, not running, but inspiring)

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    1. McFarland USA is one of my favorite movies!

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    2. McFarland USA all the way! :)

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    3. McFarland USA, Great Flick - That And Meatballs

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    4. LOL, Meatballs, yes but it's not a running film!

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    5. Meatballs is sort of a running film! Bill Murray gets that little kid out trail running with him.

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    6. Thank You Katie, Much Appreciated - But Your Right Wendy, Its A Simmer Camp Movie - Keep Smiling Everyone

      Cheers

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    7. Thank you Katie for tying it in with running! I didn't think about that aspect. Sorry Padre!

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  2. This is a lovely blog post. Races for me are such a big motivating force so having 3 cancelled in the last couple of days has been tough. I was thinking of something to write about keeping runners motivated in light of this. But you've just made my life easier - I'll share this on my FB page tomorrow!

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  3. Great ideas! I love the idea of motivational podcasts and music. And I've been meaning to watch skid row marathon, now's the perfect time. Thanks for the reminder on that one :)

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    1. Skid Row Marathon was such a moving documentary and a reminder that there are really good people in the world.

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  4. Love this post, thank you!
    In my more urban area, cycling's a better option for me than trail running, but I wish...
    May have to break out the jump rope too

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  5. Great list of suggestions. I've been rehabbing my hamstring tendonitis anyways so I plan to get back to short 3-5 mile runs and get outdoors.

    www.breathedeeplyandsmile.com

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  6. I love the optimism in this post! Yes, there are many things we still can do as runners.
    Agree, it's a great time for crosstraining and for strengthening that core! Also, I like the opportunity to run just for running's sake, without a goal in mind, just simply running for the fun of it.
    Thanks for the running movie tips, I will definitely look into that!

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  7. Ironically COVID-19 meant the end of treadmill season for me. WFH = no commute so enough daylight to run outside before work and it's been heavenly. In spite of all the race cancellations, it's a great time to be a runner (and if I may say, a great time to start running). My all time fav running podcast is Ali on the Run and favorite book is Matt Fitzgerald's Life is a Marathon.

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    1. You nailed it! I've been saying how lucky I am to be a runner right now.

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  8. I had my remaining two March races cancel yesterday (no surprises), but both are offering the option to run them virtually. Yes, there's a lot we can do, in this crisis, than just dwell on what's been taken away. There's always that big picture, and this is just a detour.

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    1. I think a lot of people are paralyzed by fear--of current events and of the unknown. We're lucky we have running as a way to alleviate some of that stress.

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  9. I've been look at races for the Fall and I have two that I am thinking of doing, especially since the flights are so cheap.

    Since I'm working from home through the end of the month, I'm really focusing on keeping my routine but also doing more early morning workouts since I can. I'm trying to keep everything as normal as can be when I can.

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    1. I was at the grocery store today and saw many people shopping in their pjs. Oh, hell no.

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  10. Making sure that I run or walk EVERYDAY.

    Yes looking ahead to fall races.

    Maybe running all the cancelled races virtually with friends.

    This will end.

    Stay safe!!

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    1. I have to keep moving so I can run all those fall races! Hoping this ends sooner, rather than later.

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  11. All good suggestions! Would you believe my April race still hasn't cancelled?! They must be in complete denial! My goal is to keep moving every day - a must for my sanity!

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    1. I can't believe your race hasn't been cancelled. Even more so, I can't believe the runners who are angry that their races are cancelled. It's a race, people!

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  12. Thank goodness we can still opt outside for now. It is really a lifesaver for me! Between running and the Peloton I just might make it through :) Thanks in advance for linking up with the Runners' roundup

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    1. I can't imagine we'll be restricted to staying indoors. The fresh air is the biggest lifesaver right now.

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  13. Thanks for this encouraging post, Wendy! Thank goodness as runners we can still get out there and run! I had 3 races cancelled and my gym is closed, so no Body Pump or swimming, but I can still get out there and run. I have run (easy) every day this week. Looking forward to a trail day tomorrow. The weather here is beautiful - so springlike - and it's great just to be outside!

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    1. We're getting rain today and tomorrow, so I'm moving my workouts around. Looking forward to getting back outside this weekend!

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  14. I did sign up for the 19 mile fun run. Thanks for posting about it. My three upcoming races have been cancelled. I have no race to train for so right now I am running for run. I need to start using my Peloton more too.

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    1. How are you going to the miles? All at once or will you split them up over the 24 hours?

      There's another fun run that CARA is sponsoring!

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    2. 24 hours? I thought it was till the end of the month? Maybe I signed up for the wrong one?

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  15. I might do some virtual races over the next few weeks/months since my race was cancelled. But I'll still be running just for fun and stress relief! So are you doing a 19 mile run all at once!?

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    1. I'm still trying to decide how to do it. I have a couple of thoughts. Stay tuned.

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  16. I just signed up for my first ever virtual race. Mostly because it has a really cute zippy. Haha. But really, this sucks. Are you still working? How are the kids?

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    1. I go back to work tomorrow, but it's going to be severely reduced. I'll also be doing virtual visits. Should be interesting.

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  17. Great tips. We are opting outside in our neighborhood, but I'm a little nervous to try any of our trails or the beach because it's unsteady ground for my injured leg :( It would be so great to get some salt air.

    We are taking this week easy. It's a huge adjustment for everyone so we are spoiling ourselves with too much tv and junk food and then, after "spring break" is over we will start sorting out our lives.

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    1. I'd love to be at the beach right now. The trails will have to do and that's ok with me.

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  18. This is lovely, thank you. We're still going out in twos and threes at the moment, keeping our distance.

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  19. I'm all for spending time outside, reading books about running and shopping for running clothes! I just became a rep for Zyia Active and absolutely love their gear - for running and every day life :) That has the "shopping for running clothes" goal covered I guess!

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