Cancelled Races and Running During Quarantine
It's been an unusual season for races this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic any social events including races have been cancelled or postponed. This has impacted event of all sizes from small town 5ks to the biggest races there are like the Boston Marathon. It has been a complete shift in our running lives. In most places stay-at-home orders have been extended to the end of April and in some cases even into May. I wanted to take the time to talk about what we can be with all of these cancellations and running during quarantine. I wanted to separate this into 2 categories: How we can deal with cancelled races and running safety during the quarantine.
Even though a cancelled race doesn't seem like a big deal when compared with all of the other issues happening during this pandemic, race cancellations can still take an emotional toll and be difficult to deal with. Race cancellations can impact our self-esteem and motivation, but there are ways we can deal with the loss of races.
Grieving: First, it is completely okay and valid to feel loss or sadness if your spring race has been cancelled. Let yourself grieve over the loss of your race for a little bit. You've been training for the race for months, it can sometimes feel like all of your hard work was for nothing. But know that there will always be another race sometime in the future. Also know that your hard work wasn't for nothing, the fitness you've gained through training is still there. You don't need a race to tell you how fit you are.
Motivation: For a lot of people races can be a huge motivating factor when it comes to maintaining or growing our fitness. I've see a lot of people ask "How do I stay motivated without races?"
- Remember why you started running in the first place. It probably wasn't to set a PR in a race. Did you start running for your health? For stress relief? You can fall back on these reasons for motivation when there are no races
Race Alternatives: There have been a lot of different race alternative out there to keep up motivation for those that need an extra push. There have been a multitude of virtual races available during this time period. There a couple free virtual races series going on as well! Like the Rambling Runner Virtual Race Series.
There are also many paid virtual races out there as well! Some races that were cancelled even offered a virtual alternative to the in-person race. These virtual races will mail you your bib and medal after you have finished the race and have submitted your time.
Here are some paid virtual race options available right now:
“Stay Home”: https://www.staycationraces.com
Furry Scurry: http://support.ddfl.org/site/TR?fr_id=1480&pg=entry
Prairie Dog Half: https://runsignup.com/Race/CO/Arvada/PrairieDogHalfand10kArvada
Running During Quarantine
Running during the quarantine has brought up a lot of questions. Can I run outside? Should I wear a mask when I run? These questions all valid and we should all be thinking about how to stay safe while running.
Can I run outside? Yes, running outside will get you much need fresh air during the quarantine. Although you will need to run alone. No group runs or running with anyone outside of your immediate family/ people you live with. When people run together droplets can easily be exhaled onto each other. The most important thing you can do to stay safe while running is to maintain proper social distancing (at least 6ft away from other people). If you're still concerned about running outside here are some other tips to keep you feeling safe.
Bring sanitizing wipes or carry hand sanitizer: If you're concerned about touching railings or cross light buttons while you're out you can keep wipes or sanitizer on you to use after you've touched something
Run earlier or later: If you're worried about coming into contact to other people and not being able to maintain proper social distancing then you might want to run earlier or later than normal. Luckily its spring time and the sun rises a little earlier and set a little later now. I've found even in Denver the trails aren't too busy at 5 - 6 AM or 7 - 8 PM.
Bring a mask/ Neck buff: A mask can inhibit proper breathing which can be problematic as a runner. If you don't want to wear a mask the whole time you're running you can pull up your buff or wear your mask when you see people approaching in the distance. An Example of a neck buff can be seen in the photo to the right.
Run in less populated areas: If you want to avoid other people during your run you could also try running in less populated areas. Instead of going to everyone's favorite park try running in a quiet neighborhood instead.