For so many of us, running is an outlet. For some, that means going within to find strength and courage to do things we hadn’t thought possible. For others, it means disconnecting from our workaday world to sort out and focus on various challenges that lie ahead. And then there are those for whom running simply is a way to blow off steam, feel good and experience a sense of accomplishment.
Whatever running is to you, it can be harder and harder to even get out to do what you love during these days of self-quarantine and social distancing. So what’s a runner to do when even our governor is encouraging us to “jog less”?
Now is a good time to focus on addressing imbalance and flexibility issues. I am finding I have more time to devote to targeted stretching and yoga. I am routinely doing a simple full-body free-weight circuit that I discovered years ago to help prepare me for triathlons and adding in almost daily core work. I also am becoming well-acquainted with my Bosu ball. And I think it’s all paying off because on the days I do run, I feel stronger and better balanced with each footfall.
Cross-training is now (more of) a thing for me as well. Most days, I run either outside or on the treadmill but some days I walk, do weights and core. On other days, I hop on my bike for a long ride followed by balance and stability work. Mixing it up has proven beneficial in terms of breaking up my days and helping me maintain interest.
I find that I am becoming more creative with my runs, too. Of course, I love heading out on the trails around my home. That to me is pure nirvana. But if I think they may be too crowded to safely navigate, I am coming up with entertaining ways to get the work in whether it’s doing a fartlek run, hill repeats or timed sprints. Even a repeated loop becomes interesting when you shake up how you approach it.
These are strange times, indeed. But as we constantly need to remind ourselves, this too shall pass. Until then, please be safe and stay healthy!