Inspired by Lisa’s post, I am sharing my running lessons during these strange Corona times this week. I probably don’t have to repeat how strange the last few months have been for all of us.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been under a shelter at home order for almost 4 months, but I am also not surprised how fast humans adapt to changing circumstances. My workout habits had to change, inevitably, and there are some things I really like and some things I miss. Let’s get to it.
It’s possible to improve even without a real training plan (who knew?)
When the Coronavirus hit the US, I was already halfway through my spring half marathon training plan and I kind of gave up on it when I realized that the race wasn’t going to happen. However, I ended up running my (goal) half marathon at the end of April as a virtual race anyway and I ended up with a new PR. That was huge for me (and I do hope to repeat it on a measured course!).
I have continued my regular workout routine during the last few months, and while I haven’t followed a training plan, I’ve consistently run faster paces than before, which surprised (and thrilled me).
There’s something to be said about “taking the pressure off”.
While I always say that I do better when I follow a training plan, not having a (goal) race on the calendar and just running for the sake of running (and for sanity, as I’d like to add) does take the pressure off and it’s been surprisingly good for my psyche. Running has definitely done wonders for my mental health these last few months, even more than I had always claimed before.
Having a training buddy (even a virtual one, or many) helps.
I’ve always been someone who likes solo runs. I can run when I want, for how long I want, as fast (or slow) as I want, so I am not missing the “group runs” as I almost always run alone. However, I love having an accountability buddy, someone who is also doing their workouts. It’s a huge motivation and it has helped me prepare for my real-turned-virtual race(s).
Working from home is very runner friendly
I’ve been keeping the same weekly workout schedule that I had before Coronavirus and before I started to work from home, but I am really enjoying my new morning routine.
Two morning per week, I do a 30-min strength workout and on days where I used to head out to the gym at an ungodly hour (before 5 am), I now leisurely stroll out of the house around 6 and get a nice run in (thank God it’s light out early right now). I usually run a 4-5 mile loop on 2 weekdays and then I take a quick shower and plop down in front of the computer with a glass of NUUN and my first coffee.
I love the IG (+ blogger) running community
If I thought that the online runner community was amazing before Corona, I am shouting it from the rooftops now: THE ONLINE RUNNING COMMUNITY IS AMAZING!. To see all the runners come together, creating challenges and virtual races online to keep each other motivated and accountable, has been amazing (e.g. #theuncanceledproject and the #iwrsocialstreak).
I do miss my spin class.
One of my favorite cross-training activities for the last year or so has been the spin class (hat tip to my friend Tanja) at my gym once or twice per week and I miss that class dearly. I do not see myself going back anytime soon and I wish I could whip out the cash (and a dedicated space in our home) for a Peloton bike, but alas, that’s not going to happen.
Sticking to your routine is (as always) key.
With nowhere to be (other than your desk or dedicated work space), it’s easy to “slack off” a bit in the morning and get going later than usual. It’s nice to have flexibility, but it also translates into a longer work day.
I do try to strictly stick to my working hours and not let work spill over into my private life (which now all happens in the same space). I have occasionally worked through an evening or on a day that I usually have off (when projects required it), but generally sticking to my work schedule also means that I need to stick to my workout times. Win-win.
What have you learned during Corona times?