Around the world races have all pretty much dropped off the calendar due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. One by one they have either been postponed to later in the year or written off until 2021. Whilst the race cancellations and banning of mass gatherings is warranted for the health of the public, the running community are still mourning the loss of their goal races that they've spent months training and preparing for.
Most of our ASICS FrontRunner coaches around the world have been helping their athletes prepare for up-coming marathons and halves, (some were mere weeks away), but since the cancellations, these coaches have found themselves working more as mental therapists than fitness trainers.
Here are some of their broad recommendations to help you cope with the current situation:
- Firstly (if you have not done so already) take care of the logistical aspects of your races. For example, change or cancel flights/accommodation etc, contact hotels to see if they can change the booking to the new event date, check your diary to see if the new event date fits into your year plan.
- It's okay to feel disappointment but we are all in this together - sometimes when we lose our goal we can feel hopeless and training can feel pointless, but it's always good to remember that we want to be flexible when life throws a curveball at us. Yes, your race was cancelled, but there will be other opportunities to race again. Be grateful for the fact you can run and that the training you have done for your goal race has made you a fitter and stronger athlete. You don't need a medal to prove that.
- Shift your focus - because outdoor runs are no longer possible, work at maintaining fitness and mobility indoors, while reminding yourself why you initially fell in love with the sport. Some ideas here.
- Connect with your running community - yes there are still ways to do this whilst still practising social distancing or self isolation. Virtual races have been popping up everywhere, not everyone has access to a treadmill at home, but if you do, embrace running online. If you have a bike and an indoor trainer, get on the the Zwift App and do some cross-training while connecting with like-minded individuals.
- Work on strengthening your immune system - here are a few tips on how to do that.
- Become a stronger athlete - take this time at home to embark on a strength program. This doesn’t have to take more than 10-20 mins a day (we will continue to share lots of ideas about home circuits in the coming weeks) but the results will show when you get back to full training.
- Focus on nutrition - this is crucial during this down time, not only to ensure you stay in shape, but for gut and mental health too. Get started here.
Remember running is a lifelong sport, and the daily process of movement is what matters. Training can sometimes feel self-absorbed so maybe we can take this opportunity to zoom out and practise being more selfless.