Running Lessons during Corona Times

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?

This week, I am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics. It’s been a while.

  1. I love that both you and Lisa focused on this topic – very timely for sure! I had to make an all new routine once stay at home orders started, but once I zoned in on it, I felt much better.

    Thanks for linking up with us :)

    1. I guess, we all had to adapt in one way or another, but I am glad you found a new routine for yourself, too.

  2. I love that you have found a way to keep going and have such a great online community too. You run alone, but aren’t every in the journey alone! Eventually you will be able to get back to spin too :)

    1. Thank you – it’s all about getting motivation from somewhere. :)

  3. I miss running now more than ever and now is when I could so easily fit it in since I’m working from home so have way more flexibility. But running is a no go for me with the pregnancy bleeding issue I have. Go figure. Our company has said that they are more open to flexible work agreements, so maybe post-mat leave I can WFH 2 days/week or something like that and I can run on those days. My workouts are really lame right now since I am sticking to walking for fear of making my bleeding problem worse but walking is a good form of exercise and as of 15 weeks I hadn’t gained any weight during the pregnancy so I guess it’s all working out (not that I’m trying not to gain weight – I know I need to since I’m growing a baby but it’s nice to not see the scale skyrocketing!).

    1. I can only imagine how much you miss running, but you have to be careful during this pregnancy and just do what you can. There will be a season for running again! :)

  4. Yes, setting boundaries when working from home really is key!
    We are self-employed and working from home all the time, so we are used to working odd hours and it’s ok.

    However, many friends are telling me that they are working much more than before and that the lines between work and private life have become fuzzy.

    Good for you for sticking to a strict work routine.
    You are right, it definitely helps to get all the workouts in!

    1. I was afraid that work and private life would mix, so I made sure I keep to my regular work hours… you must be a pro by now at that wfh life ;)

  5. I retired early (sort of), and before that I worked from home. So mostly it’s not really all that new to me (although some things most definitely are!). I love the ease of running when I want (wish it was as easy to run where I want!).

    That’s awesome that you PR’d your half — if you can do that at home, I am certain that you can do it at a sanctioned race (someday).

    1. Thank you – I definitely hope to repeat the PR during an actual race!

  6. It’s so amazing to have an accountability partner, even if the person is far away. I love it and it has totally changed my routine for the better.
    Yeah to you for wearing those running shoes out – I’m amazed by your times!
    Oh how I miss spinning……

    1. I miss spinning … with YOU.

  7. Working from home is incredibly runner friendly. I can’t believe how rushed I used to be to cram my workouts in so that I could rush to get to work and I don’t miss those days at all. Yes it will be nice to get the PR’s on a “real” race course someday but in the meantime I’ll keep chipping away at my times on my own. And <3 the online community.

    1. I am glad you can appreciate the silver-linings of quarantine life and congrats again on your PRs!!

  8. I have always found that having a buddy in any kind of fitness endeavor is a great thing. I love the accountability and getting to cheer someone else on along the way! :)

    1. That is absolutely true!

  9. Congrats on the PR! Those are tough to claim when not on an actual race course. My routine didn’t change at all during all of this, since I continued to go to the office everyday. I work for a signage company, and we were deemed essential due to our manufacturing role (and we also “side-lined” our facility to make face shields and desk/counter safety shields). Sounds like you did a great job keeping your work and fitness routine(s) consistent and strong!

    1. How did you feel about going to the office still? I hope you had some good safety protocols in place!

  10. Thanks for sharing my post! There have definitely been alot of lessons learned during this time. I’ve also had to work on creating boundaries between work and home life. It can be so tricky when it all happens in the same place!

    1. Thanks for the inspiration for this post. I didn’t realize how much I adapted to this new situation.

  11. These are so many solid lessons, and many of them are things I’ve also learnt! I always thought I needed a race to stay motivated but like you I’ve done well without which is something I’d never thought I’d manage. And working from home has made it so much easier to squeeze in runs! So in all the bad, there has been a lot of good too.

    1. So glad to hear you also were able to keep motivated without a goal race on the calendar :)

  12. Working from home was new to me and I struggled at the beginning. I learned to make a schedule and to stick to it as much as possible. I may not be going outside as much but there is no reason to work all of the time either.

    I love that I don’t have to “dress up” for work. I can wear jogging pants or comfortable skirts and dresses with my Oofos. :-)

  13. I am always impressed how you are handling your fitness routine. I wish I was so dedicated when it comes down to health and physics. I have always been a team layer in all sports I have done and I can not really motivate myself it seems like.

  14. Great topic – the running community you have on IG sound amazing. And yes working from home is great isn’t it. I use my lunchtime to jog in the back garden (we are in winter so afternoons are a little less cold!).

    We are allowed to exercise outside our homes but I haven’t done a workout other than in the garden since March. I do miss running in the road – I think when I next do it, it will feel beyond amazing!

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