This is an unprecedented time and we’re hurting. With the kids out of school, people losing their jobs and fear of the unknown rightly affecting all of us, a sense of helplessness can prevail. However, there are things we can do to mitigate the anxiety. Here are ten facts about the moment we’re in and things we can do—as runners—to carry on in as healthy a way as possible. These are trying times.
10. Running outdoors is OK. And you can run with your running partner.
9. Three is the number that our expert said is too many people to run with. I’ve been out running every day and haven’t seen any large groups and my group runs on Sundays have all been cancelled. I keep wanting to run with my partner, but we can’t get our schedules synched. The point is: running outdoors is OK.
8. You should continue on with your training. We know that all of our races between now and the middle of May have been postponed or cancelled. But the training, if you feel up to it, will keep your solo exercise interesting. The goal right now is sustaining your health, mental and physical.
7. A workout you might try, if curious: 2k warm up; 2 x 2k at marathon pace, with one minute of active recovery; 1k at half marathon pace, 90 seconds active recovery; 800 metres at 10k pace, 2 minute active recovery; 400 metres at 5k pace, with a 2K cool down. (This is from Eric Bang, the BlackToe Running coach, who coaches me).
6. That workout might seem crazy, which is fine. The important thing is you stay active. (It seems crazy to me; right now, if I do 10K easy, I’m good calling it a win).
5. Registration for the Ottawa Marathon and the Calgary Marathon are paused, but the races haven’t been postponed or cancelled. We are partners with both races and speak with them every day. They’re doing everything they can to hold their dates firm. But obviously the situation is (ultimately) out of their hands and will be determined by health professionals. We’ll update you the minute we can, needless to say: all of our fingers are crossed the race will go on.
4. If your gym isn’t closed, still don’t go. Gyms are breeding grounds for diseases. (Gyms have to be closed, right?)
3. Virtual races will start Monday on Sportstats, in collaboration with races that have been cancelled and include participation from our favourite elites like Reid Coolsaet, Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene. They will be free. Still, that doesn’t mean you should race in a group. It is essential that everyone understands this: virtual races still require social distancing.
2. Walkers, and folks battling injury – we’re here for you, too! Just keep getting out there and do what you can. Look, your goal is probably cancelled. Right now, at least for me, iRun for mental health.
1. We will get through this. This is an unprecedented moment in human history, but we’re working together and there are (small) signs of improvement. This will end and life will resume and we, runners, will having running to be thankful for in helping us get through this harrowing moment.
ps: up top is a picture of Dayna Pidhoresky. I don’t know, it just makes me feel good. Courtesy of Canada Running Series.