If you thought the track was bad, try a 7 meter balcony

5 months 4 weeks ago in mental game, quarantine, racing

I once ran 32 kilometers on a 250 meter indoor track while winter training for a marathon, but to one French runner that would have been relative paradise. According to a story in the Washington Post he ran 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) straight, never leaving his 7-meter-long (23-foot) balcony. Staying in shape during a crisis of any kind definitely sits pretty high up on the hierarchy of needs — in other words, a bit of a luxury for many — but finding ways to keep sane for many athletes locked indoors is probably as much about mental health as physical.

COVID-19 isolation doesn't mean you can't stay active

6 months ago in health, mental game, quarantine

Last night I went for a run with a couple of the guys and it was breath of fresh air, literally and socially, to get out with some people after even just a few days of stress and working from home. The Runologie podcast chats about social distancing and how running can keep you connected during times of social challenge. "The conversation covers his visits to remote places in the state, discovering new elements of your own neighborhood when you’re forced to find pedestrian routes, and using Strava to maintain a social aspect of running."

During a pandemic it helps to have a plan.

6 months ago in goals, quarantine

Over at SBNation someone is thinking similarly to me: how do you plan to keep running though a pandemic when facilities are closed, keeping company is frowned upon, and being out on city sidewalks could become illegal? Keeping fit is a core part of many people's mental health strategy, and planning for races provides motivation to train. "When I embarked on this journey at the beginning of the year, my goal was not about setting personal bests or competing in my age group. It was about reaching my potential. That nebulous idea has come into focus during this period of doubt and uncertainty."

The Debaters: Comedians run a few things by their audience regarding marathons

6 months ago in mental game, racing

If you can’t run, just laugh. The Debaters pitches two comedians face to face to humourously debate a topic, pro and con. My family and I usually listen to the podcast edition and this weekend they tackle the punny topic of running marathons. If you can’t get out training this weekend because you’re self-isolating, quarantined, infected, or just practicing social distancing, why not at least have a quick chuckle about your sport.

Canadian Running mag starts live update list of cancelled races

6 months 1 week ago in health, racing

The website for magazine Canadian Running has started a live updating article of races cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus scare. They write: "The rapid spread of coronavirus has already caused numerous changes in the 2020 racing season. News of events being cancelled or postponed is breaking daily. This live blog will be updated with news of how coronavirus is affecting the running world. " Infected or otherwise, the outbreak of COVID-19 is going to affect a lot of runners training and travel plans in 2020. Has this year's race season ended before it's even really began?

Two more races tripped up by the coronavirus outbreak

6 months 2 weeks ago in health, racing

Canadian Running magazine shares the news that two more races have been cancelled, these ones in Rome and Paris as the world braces against the uncertainty caused by a looming international COVID-19 pandemic. There is now looming speculation about the future for other big races including Boston and London, with organizers still committed to running them (so far.) Are organizers overreacting to avoid the spectre threat of mass infection, or is the new reality in the time of a mass disease outbreak that sometimes we just need to suck it up and deal with inconvenience?

Down and Up ...and Down Again?

6 months 2 weeks ago in fitness, goals

Our crew does a lot of summer hill training -- Wednesday Hill nights! -- but we largely think of it as uphill, strength-type training. Running 400m hill repeats for us is about a grueling climb followed by a casual recovery descent. But according to Runners World, not enough focus is given to the downhill portion of training in that training for downhill running is as specialized and as important as any other part of the program. This leaves a lot of questions about just how many specialized runs can fit into a summer of training, and how can a casual marathon training athlete mix-and-match, or even just fit it all in?

Running clubs help build social connections between some of the most fragile communities.

6 months 2 weeks ago in people

While the news seem to so often be full of bad news stories about the impacts of displaced people and their impact on communities, this article about how a running club among a group of asylum seekers in Ireland shows how a simple fitness club can bridge the gaps between cultures and people from such different realities. “Slowly but surely, people came. Many of them had never spoken to an Irish person before in an informal way as a friend. It had only been a transactional thing, whether at the centre where they lived or at a government office. We wanted to break down those barriers and build friendships.” Replicating this good news story in other countries seems simple enough. What kinds of barriers could we break down and support could we provide with a simple pair of sneakers?

Why do people cheat in races and how much should we care?

6 months 3 weeks ago in mental game, racing, technology

WIRED has a story this month about a data detective who uses analysis of public race data and photography to catch people who cheat in races. Never having succumbed to the temptation myself, I will admit that far enough into any race the mind plays hardball and the question inevitably pops into one’s thoughts: who actually cares that I’m doing this besides me? I don’t think it justifies shorting a race, and if no prizes are claimed by the cheater does anyone actually get hurt, but it puts the question to the course: how much should we care if random mid-pack runners bend the rules, and is it worth the time and energy to stop them?