With the current situation, socially distant running is the new name of the game. Fresh air and exercise are both considered great ways to help stay healthy and keep up the immune system, but it can be discouraging to train alone and without a goal race in sight.
Set A Goal
Having a goal is the name of the game. Whether you are running alone or in a group, it’s important to have a focus. Maybe it’s time to start running for the first time, or tackle some speed work, or adjust your form. Now is the time. Use your treadmill or get out in the neighborhood (making sure to give others a wide berth) and get to work!
Do Your Best With Gear
Shoe fittings and gear shopping may be a bit limited for the time being. Many local running stores and big box athletic retailers have closed during this time of COVID-19, or are offering call-ahead orders and curbside pickup. This makes it tricky to get properly fitted for shoes and apparel. If you CAN get in for a fitting (and feel comfortable doing so), it really is the best way to get in the appropriate footwear. However, there are a few virtual and online options you can utilize for the interim.
- Roadrunner Sports – Shoe Dog
- Brooks Running – Shoe Finder
- Asics – Shoe Finder
- Saucony – Shoe Adviser at Saucony
Please note that none of these take the place of a personal fitting with a human being, so please make sure you are aware of different retailers’ and brands’ return and replacement policies before ordering.
Join An Online Group For Accountability
Motivation can be hard to come by when you’re alone, which makes socially distant running a special challenge. When you can’t join in on group runs, or when runners are recommended to stay six feet apart, what can you do? Take it online. Strava offers all kinds of challenges on their website and app to help keep you accountable. You could also look up local running groups on Facebook and join in there. Moms Run/She Runs This Town is a great option for finding local running groups. Heck, you could even just text or call a friend and each agree to complete miles on certain days to keep you on track.
Don’t Forget To Cross Train
Cross-training is a critical part of any running training plan, but it seems to be the thing that most runners neglect. Working other muscle groups helps keep runners strong and minimizes injury. Again, it’s hard to get involved with a cross-training program when you’re on your own, but so many coaches and programs are offering free or low-cost training at home that it’s easy to try a variety of systems to see what works best.
- Yoga with Adriene – FREE yoga videos for all levels of practice.
- One Peloton – FREE 90 day trial of the Peloton app (no bike or treadmill required).
- CENTR – Six weeks of FREE access to Chris Hemsworth’s training program
- YMCA 360 – Your favorite Y classes for all ages, wherever you are (FREE)
Register For A Virtual Race
So you’ve set your goals and handled your training… now what? We have no idea the next time a live race may take place again, so if you want to go the extra step, it might be time for a virtual race. Virtual races range from free to about the same fee as a regular vent. Some offer nothing more than the chance to submit your run on social media with a hashtag, while others will ship you a shirt, bib, medal and other swag. You choose the distance and the course, and complete the miles on your own terms, and on your honor. There’s something for everyone.
- Gone For A Run Virtual Race Series: Gone For A Run hosts regular virtual events for holidays and/or causes. Races come with or without a shirt, but include a bib and medal.
- Hot Chocolate 15K/5K: This Virtual Run consists of a 5k and 15k option, just like with the regular race series. Run (or walk) your chosen distance wherever you want. They’ll ship the goodie bag and medal right to you, along with your very own Chocolate Finisher’s Kit for a taste of our delicious chocolate.
- Florida Race Day Timing: This Northeast Florida timing company offers the CoRUNa Virtual Race as a free, virtual option. No swag, but you can submit your time, which will be
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What are your recommendations for getting through this time of socially distant running?