Our fitness regimens , similar to most of our lifestyle behaviours, have all likely modified due to the novel coronavirus. It’s no surprise running has gained a resurgence in popularity amidst the pandemic. Given gyms, pools, climbing walls and other fitness options have closed, many have gone back to the basics with running being a common default. Minimal equipment is needed, even minimalist shoes can do the trick!
We’re all presumably familiar with the myriad of physical and mental benefits to running, such as gains in cardiorespiratory fitness, improved metabolic function, increased longevity, lowered stress and a reduction in the risk of many chronic diseases. Our health needs to take precedence now more than ever. Despite being cognizant of the many positive rewards it may bring, some may have let inertia take hold. Motivation may not be an issue to newbies, but what about seasoned runners losing their way? It’s understandable to feel dismayed that your fitness plans have been forced to change, however, there are many tactics to keep you successfully on the running track through the pandemic.
Sometimes creativity is the facet we need to exercise the most. Instead of running the same routes week after week, try committing to regular exploratory outings. You’ll conceivably find some gems along the way. If you’re short on time and need to stick close to home, there’s nothing like a fun circuit to spice up your schedule. Intersperse some snappy efforts with bench hops, clap push-ups, skipping or burpees. These routines may also give you a much-needed strength boost.
Your in-person race may no longer be on the calendar, but there’s no point lamenting. There are ample virtual races that conveniently allow you to ‘travel’ much further than you thought possible. Look for an event that both stretches and excites you. Reach out to others taking part and share in the training journey. You’ll possibly gain new friends from afar.
If there aren’t any virtual events that suit you, make up your own. Challenge yourself and your running friends to accomplish something together. Support each other as you contribute to a common goal and share in the collective sense of satisfaction of reaching it.
Enlisting the expertise of a coach is perhaps the best approach if you’re a competitive athlete trying to make the smartest decisions about your training or a runner that would like objective, experienced eyes to evaluate and plan the most efficient schedule. A coach can ensure you’re healthy, fit and ready to go when the starting guns finally go off.
Wearable technology is another motivating means of accountability. Everything from resting heart-rate reductions to mileage increases and higher elevation gains are metrics easily gleaned from wearable sensors. Instead of a floundering feeling, your workouts gain purpose. Documenting your efforts provides a surge of dopamine that you’ll want to continue experiencing.
Thankfully, running provides plenty of forward momentum and beautifully, conveniently and simply addresses our fitness needs during this time. What many of us lifers have known for years is that running is simply the best!
Common Mistakes for Newbie Runners
1 – Improper shoes
Get properly fitted at a running store so you start off on the right foot and make your running experience pleasant at the onset. This is the first step!
2 – Not allowing enough rest
Similar to the previous point, schedule enough rest in your plan. Run for several months before you run on back-to-back days.
3 – Being hard on Yourself
Running is typically challenging. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you go, it’s all good. Enjoy your journey!
4 – Tuning out
While running is a great mental outlet, don’t forget to tune into how your body is responding. Address issues before they impede your progress.
5 – Dehydration
Chances are you’re losing more water than you realize. Not only drink more water to replenish the loss, but eat foods with high water content to ensure you’re getting enough water and electrolytes.
6 – Inadequate nutrition
Running is demanding and requires vast energy stores. Replenish your efforts with nutrient-rich foods and you’ll up your entire health game.
7 – Progressing too quickly
This can be in volume and speed. Running is far less forgiving than non-impact sports. Your body will need time to adapt to the new stresses you impose. You want to run for years to come, so don’t rush the process.
IMPACT Magazine’s 2021 Inspiration Issue
Read about our 2021 Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors – our top 30 from across Canada! Go beyond traditional thinking to optimize movement through stretching, find out about 7 DIY hacks to improve the air quality in your home, learn about taking care of your heart through proper nutrition, enjoy some of our best plant-based recipes yet, and work out with our Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers!