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?
Very good ideas, Jenn! I agree with you, goals are important.
My goal at the beginning of the year was to run 2’600k (1’616 miles) this year, which is basically 50k (31 miles) a week.
Now, I need to add some cross-training goals as well!
Cross training is so important. I’m spending so much time on it with my PT, working on my glutes, hips and leg strength. For me, it’s more important than ever.
Lisa @ Mile by Mile says
Great resources! I didn’t think about the issue with getting fitted for new shoes. That’s a tricky one! I’m planning to do some virtual races I think since it doesn’t seem like we will have any live races for awhile at this point.
Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Frederick Half-Marathon Training Week 4
Our local running shop is still open, but they are doing curbside pickup. Shoes are something you really have to try on but people who are just starting to run now that they have the time (and nerves) to burn might not have that chance.
I’ve got a couple virtual races lined up–just did that 19 miler–but even though it’s fun, it’s not the same as a live event. I’m actually good with just running…y
It’s absolutely not the same as a live event. Those first races back are going to be absolutely epic!
Deborah Brooks says
I am loving that there are so many ways to stay connected and motivated right now. WE are hosting a few challenges and daily threads in our MRTT group too. Stay well!
Deborah Brooks recently posted…Why You Should Keep Up Your Training After Your Race is Cancelled
Same to you! Our MRTT chapter has been sharing workouts as well, and they are really great.
Great tips! The free app trials really are helping out with cross training. I’m trying the peloton one now and I’ve been doing Yoga With Adriene as well. Both really helpful.
Chaitali recently posted…Gratitude
I love Yoga with Adriene. She has a really great and inclusive practice.
Kimberly Hatting says
Virtual races are coming to the rescue for many of us right now. I’m trying to do as many of my postponed events “virtually” on their original date, then do the rescheduled ones later. Win-win!!
Fortunately (kind of), I was only signed up for one race, which has been postponed. I’ll have to get something on my calendar one of these days.
I agree, it is very challenging to stay motivated without a race in sight… but I did sign up for two virtual races which is a first for me. I did one today (but didn’t race it) and the other one I think I’ll do the first weekend in April.
Oh, great! Virtual races are not my favorite, but it definitely helps a little with motivation.
Michelle D. says
I’m enjoying some of the online options for working out and the way people have come together with different challenges to stay connected.
There are so many great options out there! And I love that everyone is coming together to make things available.
These are good tips. My goals have been lacking since my races were all canceled. I’ve just been running for fun, which is fine really. Oh, and stress relief!
Debbie recently posted…Self Care for Runners: It’s Worth the Time! Plus a ROAD iD Giveaway!
Stress relief for sure. My anxiety is out of control!
Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy says
Although I enjoy running in groups, I often run alone just due to circumstances. Although right now the paths can be crowded and some just don’t seem to get the message about social distancing!
All great tips, Jenn!
Our sidewalks are still fairly empty. There are a few times I have to step out of the way to make room for someone else, but it’s pretty rare.
The Accidental Marathoner says
I generally run alone so the social distancing part of running hasn’t been much of an issue for me. I do like the idea of an online running group, though. It’s great for accountability, and these days I could use some extra motivation. Stay healthy!
Extra motivation is the name of the game right here. Ugh.
I didn’t even think about the fitting part for new shoes! These are all really great tips! The online groups are definitely helping me out right now.
Online is a huge blessing right now! I haven’t been able to get a refitting, and while my regular shoes are working much better than earlier in my rehab, I want to make sure I’m in the best option. I will just have to wait a little longer.