Not being able to go outside and hit the pavement is one of the worst nightmares for runners – all the more if it was for an extended period of time.
During pre-coronavirus lockdown times, the sight of a mob of runners crowding parks, or a singular runner traversing an uncommon running route was normal. Heading out to train during downtime was routine, and outdoor runs were mostly preferred over treadmill marathons.
However, with a lethal pandemic at large, staying indoors is the current norm and first priority. For runners, this is a major setback in training, and to work around it, most have shifted to alternatives like vertical runs, HIIT or circuit workouts, and such. The worst of them risked disobeying lockdown protocols and still ran outdoors.
As much as our current situation differs from former leisures, there are things that runners can consider that can help them appreciate being locked down at home more. Here are some of them:
1. It’s a chance to recover
Whether the failure to take time for rest lies in time constraints or impatience with achieving results, runners tend to dismiss the idea of it and choose to workout when they shouldn’t. But now that the limitations are stricter, to not worry about chasing after results would be more productive rather than not.
Now that there is actually time to get some rest, take it. Because once this crisis is over and the lockdown is lifted, schedules will go back to being hectic, and resting will once again be neglected.
2. You can catch up on sleep
Another aspect of rest and recovery that a lot of people are guilty of not paying attention to is sleep – a process where organs undergo cellular repair. Ensuring that you’re clocking in enough hours of sleep is important for staying in tip-top shape.
While some have the option to work from and workout at home, time that is usually wasted on exhausting, hours-long commutes can be used for catching up on sleep. So be glad for the time to rest and catch some z’s!
3. Time to work on other improvement areas
Quarantine has also given the luckier ones both resources and time to explore and work on other areas of improvement. Think back to pre-lockdown times bucket list hobbies or skills that you wanted to do or learn but never had the time to, and start on ticking them off.
Other than hobbies and interests of leisure, inspect areas of exercise where you feel like you need to work on and slowly build up to becoming better at it at home. There’s also a lot of time to not just practice your talents, but to share them in a helpful way as well. Volunteering your skills also helps to hone them!
4. Friends that provide comfort
On top of physical health concerns, the novel coronavirus pandemic has also caused a pronouncement or development of mental distress in many citizens. Stifling isolation, unnerving anxiety, anger, and a lot of other unpleasant feelings and thoughts start to bubble to the surface of certain individuals’ consciousness. And there are those who are unfortunately experiencing these emotions and thoughts without anyone to talk to and suffering alone.
Commiserating with friends even just over the phone or via video calls provides a great deal of comfort and is without a doubt something to be grateful for – tough times, or not. When the lockdown is over, give your friends many hugs and ‘thank you’s for being there.
5. We can reconnect with loved ones
Times of crisis always call for solidarity, and where better to start than in the first and major social environment we have: Family. Being freed from the daily, mundane distractions and the physical distances abridged, those who were able to come home to the families they cherish now also have the chance to communicate.
Not everyone has a harmonious family to come home to and want to reconnect with. While you have family and love for family, take this time to bond over activities you want to try out. Get your elderly or sedentary family members to try your workouts with you and help keep them healthy. Rekindle relationships gone sour or dry. Or simply be there and support each other.
6. You’re alive, healthy, and safe at home
More than they are circumstance you are predisposed to, health and safety are basic human rights that many members of society are not fortunate enough to be even granted. While a few are at the comforts of their own homes and with resources for not just survival, but for their leisure as well, there are those who have to fight just to live another day for themselves and for their families.
The fact that there is a house to live in, a body that’s healthy, and that you don’t have to worry so much about threats to your own life, and the lives of those closest to you, is something to be tremendously grateful for.
To dismiss the fact that these are tough times for everyone would be insensitive, especially considering that there are members of society who are more hard-hit by this lockdown. While searching for pieces of our new reality that give us hope, always keep in mind that this is a burden we all share. A burden where talents and resources are much better spent on uplifting one another, rather than poring over and worrying about leisures that are not permitted right now.
To grieve the limitations are normal, and processing these feelings is important. Cry about it if you must. But after the tears and the cries, challenge yourselves to exercise empathy, check the privilege you’ve been given, see things with graciousness, and find ways to support other people in return.
What aspects of this lockdown have made you thankful? Let us know!