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Running in the time of Covid-19

Written by Stu McLay

Stu McLay is a guest blog writer for Run2PB and is coached online with Run2PB,

You can read his profile on a previous blog here.

He has also been featured on the Better with Running Podcast

Just as businesses, schools, families and individuals have had to adapt in a year that has been like no other, runners have also gone in search of alternatives to get them motivated and keep them ticking off those all-important kilometres. Depending on where you are and the restrictions you’ve faced, situations have been very different. And let’s not forget the runners out there who’ve sadly had to battle Covid-19 and all that comes with it.

While people in some areas have been able to make a cautious return to some racing or less restricted recreational running, those in Victoria are still limited to an hour a day within a curfew. It’s with all this in mind I thought I’d pull together some ideas, strategies and tools that I reckon have worked well and might just help some others get through.

The 60 Minute Workouts

Not just the saviour for those of us in Victoria, but a great way for some of you who might be time poor due to changed work or family commitments. The incredible coaches at Run2PB have worked extremely hard to pull together a varied suite of sessions for just about every kind of runner. For me these sessions have been an excellent way to freshen up psychologically and stay motivated; they’ve been varied, new and innovative. Embrace them, don’t be intimidated by them, get everything you can from them, but most of all, enjoy them. And as an added bonus, how good are those videos?

Stay Connected

You might've engaged a coach and there's a reason for that, to make you a better runner. Make the most of the athlete/coach relationship at a time like this. Ensure the lines of communication are open, be honest about how you are feeling physically and mentally, ask questions, listen, talk running, seek motivation, challenge your own thinking and that of your coach. Also make sure you connect with your family and friends who are non-runners too, they’ll support you and give you a good dose of perspective.

Look After Yourself

Many runners don’t need to be told to eat well and hydrate, but for those who do, consider yourself told by someone who doesn’t always follow the same advice. Sleep well and make sure you do all that prehab and rehab. Looking after yourself can also mean taking a day or two off as it’s a great way to refresh not only the body but the mind as well. Talk about this with your coach when planning; we all know the old adage that rest days can be your best days but how many of us really take those days when we need them. For the mind it could also be something as simple as reading a good running (or non-running) book or watching an inspirational movie.

Find Somewhere New To Run

For lots of us our usual running haunts have been affected by Covid. The local track where you do your sessions is locked up, heading to a favoured spot may breach distance restrictions or the paths through your local park could be overcrowded with people getting their daily dose. The solution is to find alternatives; try a different time of day if possible, find a local footy oval or netball/basketball courts that aren’t being used, even an industrial estate or deserted car park might just help you get the job done. I usually do a session or two a week on my local aths track but with it currently being closed I’ve found a sweet spot where a local footy oval is relatively quiet and I can do my workout in peace.

Who Doesn’t Like New Stuff?

Hands up if a new pair of shoes, socks, shorts or a singlet make you want to go out and run? Of course they do. Treat yourself if you can at a time like this, it might just be that little extra push that gets you out the door for your long run or session when other stuff around you is demotivating or distracting.

Be A Good Running Citizen

Every one of us has been affected in some way by Covid-19, but it’s on all of us now to ensure we do all that is needed and asked of us to get through this. We all want to be racing, dragging ourselves out of bed for those Parkruns, gathering with friends for a Sunday long one or simply jogging the block with the family, and we want this happening as soon as is safe and practical. Be a good running citizen, follow the rules that apply in your city/state/country, carry your mask when you run if that’s what is required of you and keep your distance from others.

If you can still get out there and do what you love, be grateful for that. Stay safe and make the most of the run, whatever and whenever it is.


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