If keeping running while self-isolating is important to you, we have some great tips to help you through these extraordinary and unprecedented times.
We don't really know how long this situation will continue or how confined we will become to our homes, so it is best to have a plan in place to deal with whatever may happen.
For many people, running is as much a part of maintaining their mental and emotional health as it is for maintaining their physical health. It is important to exercise your body whether or not you are permitted to leave your home. In some countries, there is practically a complete lockdown so this is what we need to prepare for.
Options for Running While Self-Isolating
In the UK last week (17 March), England Athletics has advised that all face-to-face activity including club training sessions, races, running groups should be suspended until at least the end of April. So at this point running outside while maintaining social distancing is an option for running while self-isolating. Some runners are still meeting for runs but keeping a safe distance from each other. Of course, it is important that we follow all the guidelines as advised by our local health organizations to keep our families and ourselves safe, such as the following 7 steps:
If you are used to running with a group, running solo may be a challenge to you, but there are great advantages to running solo. Use this opportunity to challenge yourself to learn how to enjoy solo running and reap the benefits, such as developing confidence as a runner knowing that you can do it on your own. Read more here: Transitioning to Running Solo
If you usually run in the streets, this may be an opportunity for you to explore a new trail or nature park where there usually tends to be less people than in the streets. Running while self-isolating doesn't have to be boring!
Confined to Home
If indeed the time comes that we are severely restricted from leaving our homes, running while self-isolating will become more challenging. Try the following tips to maintain your physical fitness and mental well-being:
100-Up Exercise - This exercise, which can easily be performed indoors, helped Walter George set a number of world records including the fastest mile in 1904 when he had limited time to train. It is a simple drill exercise that he discovered while working as an apprentice and could only train during his lunch hour. He developed the 100 Up Exercise and practiced it daily. It is an incredibly efficient exercise designed to improve both running speed and form; thus, an easy way to maintain running fitness. Read more here: 100-Up-Exercise
Use a Treadmill - If you own a treadmill or are thinking about buying one, this is an ideal time to make a purchase. Various training programs designed for treadmill running can help with inspiration and motivation. Read more: How to Buy the Best Treadmill
Do a Body Weight Workout at Home - Use your own body weight which requires no equipment to lose weight and keep fit at home. There are many free online videos you can follow along at home such as the following 10-Minute Fat Burning Bodyweight Workout video:
Keep a Window Open - Whenever possible and especially while you are exercising indoors, open a window to get a good dose of fresh air. Your body will love it!
Keep in Contact - Stay in touch with your running friends. Do video or audio group calls to maintain a virtual social atmosphere. Maintaining a social network is extremely important during times of isolation and some of your friends will struggle more than others. We need to support each other in any way we can in this challenging situation.
Maintain a Positive Attitude - This may not be easy during a complete lockdown, but with a little effort, there are many creative ways to enjoy solitude, such as: watch a comedy, do an online yoga class, try a new recipe, call a friend or an elderly person, play a game, read a different type of book or magazine, learn how to meditate, do a jigsaw or word puzzle, learn a new craft or hobby. I am sure you can think of many others.
Book a Reiki Session - If you are feeling ill or very fearful or stressed, maybe it is a good time for you to have an energy healing session which can be done remotely. Reiki is a holistic therapy that can easily be administered by distance. Learn more about How Does Distant Reiki Work.
If you have other suggestions, please share in the comments below and feel free to share your pictures here too!
During these difficult times, be kind to yourself and rest mentally if you can. Worrying will not help in any way. We need to trust that this will pass and to be patient as the time passes. Being mindful of the present moment can help prevent us from worrying too much about the future.
Take care of yourself and please feel free to share with us how you and your running friends are coping in these challenging times.