Summer will soon be here! It may not seem like it right now here in Wisconsin but summer weather is just around the corner.
In this crazy year, there’s no telling right now when racing will again be happening but most of us are still training through as we hope our fall racing plans will not be postponed.
We all think of winter as the challenging and dangerous season for runners but there are challenges and safety considerations we need to keep in mind during the summer also. As well as the adjustments that we need to make not for our safety but to ensure we’re getting the most out of our summer time training.
I’ll kick this month’s recap off with a timely topic. If you’ve ever run a solo time trial, as many people are doing now, you’ve probably noticed that you can’t quite go as fast as you can in a race. I know, personally, I can’t even come close in a time trial to what I can do in a rac.e
But why is this? The stock answer is always that competition pushes us to do better and there’s obviously truth to that but what about the competition? Drafting doesn’t count for all of the difference. Motivation? Some other psychological component?
Well, this isn’t the complete answer but it does point in the direction of a potential answer. Essentially, most people feel “better” when running with others, which allows them to run harder. Feeling “better” is hard to define and it’s hard to say what we can do about this while running by ourselves. However, it’s bringing some additional level of understanding to the topic.
It’s also a good reminder right now that, especially if you usually have training partners, it’s ok to be running slower right now even while the run may feel just as hard or harder. It’s actually perfectly normal for that to happen.
We’ve heard a lot about social distancing in the past month or so but, a few weeks ago, I heard someone say we should call it physical distancing because one thing we should be doing now is socially connecting.
Now that almost the whole world is spending what seems like it could be a significant amount of time at home, it’s past time to discuss training at home.
Fortunately, running is a simple sport. For most of us, heading out the front door for a run is an option. However, what about those of us for whom that isn’t an option, either because we live in a place where things are serious enough that we can’t go outside even to exercise or because we live in a place where running from your front door isn’t an option?
Affecting probably more of us, what about those other things I hope you’re doing? What about your auxiliary training? Do you normally use public weight rooms that are now closed?
Right now, we’re all in the same boat. Even if you had spring racing plans, they have been put on ice. We don’t know when our next race will be. It could be next month, though that’s looking less likely all the time. It could be that we have to wait until fall.
So what do you do? If you have a May or June race on your schedule that hasn’t been canceled yet, maybe you are holding out hope that it will be able to happen and you continue with your training plan.
If you’re not expecting to race until fall, though, maybe you’re going to take a step back and build your base.
Before I even start: For the best information and advice on COVID-19, trust the CDC.
I, as I’m sure many of you, have been a bit distracted this month with COVID-19. I admit that I haven’t been reading as much about training and racing as I normally do. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading.
Before I begin, I understand that running should be one of the least of our worries right now. We have bigger concerns to think about.
That said, I’m not an expert in pandemic response so I have very little to say about it. Seek out other sources for that topic. I recommend starting with the CDC.
What I do know is that many of us rely on running or working out in some form to calm our nerves and relieve stress. In these times, calming nerves and relieving stress seem very important. So what is a runner to do?