Training Amidst Covid 19

No one knows when Covid 19 will be under control and everyone will be allowed to resume their normal routines. Races have been canceled everywhere and “virtual races” have become the new rage. Honestly, I am not motivated to do any virtual races right now. The Boston Marathon has been rescheduled for September 14th but I’m not sure if sporting events will even be allowed to happen by then. When should I ramp up my training?

Currently I am pulling back on the miles and intensity of my workouts. In fact, I’m not really putting much mental energy into planning workouts and doing all the little things that add up to get myself in peak race condition. It’s been nice! My legs have been getting a nice break from all those weeks of high mileage and my mind is also getting a break from the stresses of being focused. It’s nice to just head out in the afternoon for a nice easy run and not have to think about pace, heart rate, and distance.

I’m still using a couple of days a week to pick up the pace a bit. I find it good to get those legs moving and the heart rate up for an extended period of time so that I don’t lose a certain level of fitness. I’m more in the area of trying to just maintain and not worrying about progress. I have also been mixing it up in my workouts. Since the gym is closed I am doing different strength exercises. I don’t have bar bells and any exercise machines. I am using a lot of my own body weight in strength conditioning, the yoga ball, and I have a nice set of resistance bands from Lifeline. I’m taking this time to focus more on my core a bit as well.

Last week I did some short intervals that were fast and I also did some fast strides on a different day. A lot of my previous marathon training was focused on paces between 10k and marathon. Those paces were considered my speed days. Now I am doing some paces between my mile pace and 5k pace. A change in mentality and a change in the workouts has been refreshing. Lastly, I’m not pushing myself to the max physically even on my harder training sessions.

It’s been great working from home. Seeing the wife and kids more. I’ve built a fort with the kids, taken my daughter on runs, taken my sons on bike rides, played soccer and bad mitten, had a movie night/sleep over with the kids, and enjoyed some great conversations with my wife. As a Pastor there have been lots of Zoom or Google Hangout meetings but even those are getting less and less awkward as everyone is adjusting to the new “norm” for now. Yep, everything is different but there can be joy in change. I wake up everyday looking to find things to be thankful for and to keep positive.

Lastly, if you’ve been running outside lately maybe you’ve seen more runners out there. It’s been awesome! I love saying “hi” and “encouraging others on”. This pandemic isn’t good but I think it is bringing out the good in people. It’s been wonderful to see the generosity of others, the fight in us, and to see people rediscovering what its like to spend more time with loved ones or go outside and enjoy a run. We can learn a lot in times like these. We can all come out of this better and stronger!

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