Cancellations and postponements of running and walking events due to COVID-19 have left many people understandably disappointed and frustrated.
First off, it’s okay to feel frustrated, even mournful, of this loss – we certainly feel that way about the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon!
But let’s take this time to leverage our frustration and reposition our training outlook. How can you seek benefits from this break in action and better yourself as an endurance runner or walker? You have no pressure, no time limit. Take this as an opportunity to improve in the following ways:
- Increase your mileage – You have the time to test yourself. Increasing your distance – safely – is something that surely takes time, which is a resource we all have right now as a result of our canceled race. So, if you’re accustomed to running or walking 5 hours per week, work to bump it up to 6 or 7 hours over the course of a month or two and see what happens to your endurance. In time, you should see an improvement to your pace, and you’ll be able to sustain this newfound pace for a longer period of time. Looking farther ahead, start to train for more than 13 miles and you’ll crush our ½ marathon when it returns! Or, take this time to work your way up to the full marathon if you had originally planned to do the half.
- Recovery – Establish easy days, stick to them, and make your recovery efforts a priority! Slow your pace, lessen your miles, and try to get good rest. This includes good nights of sleep. You’ll begin to see those actions pay off during your longer runs or walks.
- Switch it up! We love that you’re all about running or walking. You love it, too. But don’t be afraid to incorporate various full-body workouts here and there. Find exercises that target your arms and your back. Having full-body strength – not just leg strength – significantly impacts your form, which in turn will make it easier to complete your long-distance run.
- Be consistent & (most importantly) stay positive – Not that you weren’t consistent with your training when there was a race, but don’t let cancellations slow you down. Pinpoint that goal (hopefully it’s finishing our half or full marathon) when it returns and keep your eye on it. If you are a person who puts a lot of pressure on yourself in races, or perhaps you weren’t as well-trained as you had hoped going into this now-cancelled event, then this could be a great time to get back to why you run or walk in the first place — for the sheer enjoyment.
Like all things, this pandemic will pass, and we will get back to some sense of normalcy. How will you use the time between now and then to take yourself to a new place with your running or walking?