I’ve been hearing from a few people recently with health concerns. Either people who are getting COVID-19 tests because they are showing symptoms after being exposed (thankfully, nobody I’ve heard from has had a positive test yet) or those of you who live in the areas where air quality is affected by the wildfires.
My message for these individuals has been the same: health first, then fitness.
This past weekend, I ran my first “virtual” race. However, it wasn’t my first run of this type. Back before virtual races were a thing, we called what I did Saturday a solo time trial.
Whatever you want to call these efforts, some of you have been doing these events this summer already and I suspect many more of you will be doing so this fall. It’s the nature of the world we live in right now. I just wanted to offer some thoughts and advice on how to handle the virtual races you might be racing this fall or how to think about ones you have run after they are over.
Team HillRunner.com: I’m sorry for the delay in getting this together. It’s been a crazy year, hasn’t it?
While we won’t have an in person Al’s Run this year, I’d still like to have an appropriately distanced Team HillRunner.com virtual Al’s Run if at all possible. Here’s what I’m thinking, though of course I’m open to ideas:
The first thing to note is that the study only tested one person with a gaiter. With only one person and only one test on that person, no result would be statistically significant. Many variables could have played a role in the result.
The second thing to note is that the study wasn’t testing the performance of masks. It was testing the performance of the test being used. It was to determine if an easy, low cost test works.
It’s worth noting that other tests, including one noted at the link above, show that gaiters do in fact work. Single layer gaiters like most running types don’t work as well as multi-later ones but they still do work.
So, if a single layer gaiter is what you have available and you’re in a place where you’re around people, use it. It does help.
What do you do late in a race? When you need to go a little faster, how do you respond?
If you’re like most runners, you dig deep. You push yourself and strain for that last possible bit of effort. It makes sense. Run faster by exerting more effort.
Is this the best way to run faster, though?
When we start to dig, we strain. We tense up and fight against ourselves. Our muscles tighten up and work against each other instead of working in coordination with each other, one muscle relaxing as the opposing muscle tenses.
This month, I’m going to bring up a couple topics and expand on them a little more than normal for a recap post. Then I’ll throw a bonus link or two at the end. Fewer links, a little more in depth this time.
To start, we all are familiar with hard/easy training. I’ve even written about it here. But isn’t there a value to the middle ground? Isn’t there sometimes a reason to venture off the ends of the spectrum?
These days, you can see a lot of workouts on social media, not to mention websites like Strava and Garmin Connect. Some of these workouts are impressive, maybe look interesting, or just look like something fun to try.
Have you ever thought of “borrowing” a workout you’ve seen online? While I won’t say never do so, I would like to urge you to use extreme caution if you do so.
With the news yesterday that the New York City Marathon has been canceled, we’ve now seen Boston, Berlin and New York taken off the 2020 calendar. Chicago and London (currently rescheduled from spring) are still scheduled to go but don’t be surprised if they also cancel. During a pandemic, it would be irresponsible to bring tens of thousands of runners from around the world together, along with workers, volunteers and spectators.
Given what the experts are saying about a likely rebound of the pandemic in the fall, it’s likely that most large events and probably many, if not most, smaller events will not be happening this year.
I don’t say this to be a downer. I say it as a reminder of the reality this year is throwing at us. Keep this in mind as you’re training and adjust your training accordingly.
Now, on to some hopefully less depressing things I’ve been reading this month…