Currently, there are over 46,000 cases of Coronavirus in the Untied States. That alarming number is expected to grow exponentially over the next few weeks. The cause of the spread is that most human of qualities; the need for interaction with others.
The Center for Disease Control has recommended that we practice isolation. Six feet of distance from other individuals and no group meetings of more than ten people. Basically, everyone needs to stay home and become hermits so as to avoid community spread of this fatal virus.
What about Running?
There has been a running boom across America over the last two weeks. As most distance runners know (and appreciate) running is a great form of social distancing. To the extent that lots of people think of us as wierdos. And, as a runner and running coach, my experience has proved that assumption to be accurate.
The appeal of running is vitality, hope and accomplishment. The idea that you can escape the confines of your home, and run free is intoxicating. That is, until you make it a few hundred feet from your front door and you remember in the most visceral way that you haven’t done this for a while.
But, the hope is still there! Each day gets a little better until you are able to move down the road in a way that approaches respectable running form and that grimace is replaced with an open-mouthed smile. Yes, running is an elixir for mind, soul and body.
Rules of the Road
There are few rules of the road during this time that bear repeating. Let’s face it, this is bigger than working remotely and scavenging for toilet paper. We are all responsible for limiting the spread of this pandemic nightmare.
- Learn how to run by yourself. If you have always depended on a group to pull you through your run, now is the time to find the self-discipline to put your running shoes on and go. I would encourage you to see the world around you, hear the tempo of your footsteps and breathing, and revel in your ability to move freely through this crazy world on your own terms.
- Focus on your health and take your foot off the gas pedal. Running will help boost your immune system and keep you operating at your best- unless you overdo it. A long, hard run can cause a short-term drop in immunity levels. So, save the racing for later.
- Stay in contact with your teammates or friends during this time and encourage each other. Platforms like Strava make it easy to post workouts and give kudos to others during this time. A little kudos is all somebody might need to feel connected again.
- Snot rockets and crowded streets don’t mix. If you find yourself running in a small group or in close proximity to walkers and others, try to remember the 6′ rule. And, refrain from spitting and sending snot rockets into the air. Please.
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease. He has become a voice of reason for many Americans during this crazy and unpredictable time. Enjoy this short video of Dr. Fauci discussing his thoughts on running.
Be smart and stay safe out there. We will get through this. And, maybe we will be in better running shape when it’s over.