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COVID-19 may limit where you can go and what you can do to stay fit but there are still many ways you can stay on top of your training goals. Explore in the list below what our top Athletes like Mike Wardian, Stephanie Howe, and Rob Krar consider their top ways to stay in shape during quarantine. Hopefully we will get through this together and come out stronger as a result.
1. HOP ON THE TREADMILL
If you’re one of the lucky individuals who has a treadmill in your home, you know it’s your best friend. Do the same training routine you’d do if you were outside, adapting it to the machine as you see fit. For example, if you were planning on hitting a few hills, take advantage of your incline and decline features. Make sure your laces are tied up tight so you have a safe run.
Should you usually run on flat streets, set the timer for the same length that you’d usually be traversing your neighborhood. Make things more interesting by watching television or listening to your favorite playlist. Enjoy the fact that while you’re stuck inside, you can wear shorts and a t-shirt.
2. RIDE AN EXERCISE BIKE
Some athletes primarily do their running outdoors and then continue to build their stamina on a stationary bike. If this sounds like you, simply swap a day or two of racing with a couple of different cycling routines. Commit to burning the same number of calories or biking for as long as you usually run. If you complete a comparable practice session, you won’t feel guilty that you weren’t able to get out on the trail.
3. FOCUS ON STRENGTH TRAINING
Don’t worry about it if you don’t have an indoor machine. Being stuck inside means you can work on your strength exercises instead. After all, adding muscle to your arms, legs and torso will help you run faster and longer once you get back outdoors. Pick up the free weights, do a few different types of bodyweight exercises or head for your bench.
If you know it’ll be a couple of days before things get back to normal, try working on your upper body the first day and the lower body the next. Since many running enthusiasts report that they don’t work on strength as often as they’d like to, wintry weather is a great excuse to make it a priority. You may even find that you get excited about your weight workouts again.
4. TRY CIRCUIT TRAINING
Circuit training is beneficial to runners because it combines fat-burning exercises with strength training. As an added advantage, the intense workout sessions mean you’ll get fit in less time. Most athletes consider 30 minutes to be the ideal length for circuit training, but it’s possible to work your entire body in as little as 10. Plus, you can also do everything inside, with little to no equipment.
Activity ideas include walking lunges, mountain climbers and push-ups. Your muscles will be working hard, so most athletic trainers recommend taking a day off afterward. If there are still storms, you can always use your day off to watch movies or play board games with family.
5. ENGAGE IN YOGA OR PILATES
Running is often an intense and fast-paced activity, so do your body a favor by stretching and offering it more oxygen. An indoor-friendly, easily-accessible workout like yoga or pilates will help you recover from your race training. It will also keep you in shape and help you burn calories. Keep in mind you don’t have to sit idle in meditation or spend all of your time on the floor. Types of high intensity yoga like Power and Iyengar will challenge you more than you realize.
In most cases, you won’t need any equipment at all. If you don’t have a yoga mat, you can use a non-slip rug or a towel on top of a carpet. Some workouts will ask you to use a block, strap or chair, so see if you have these items before proceeding. Plenty of online videos are available with a more minimalist approach.
Many athletes like pilates because they work out the ab muscles. You’ll not only look great, but you’ll also be protecting your lower back and spine. Try moves like the seated twist, the saw and the pilates push-up. Other race-friendly moves include swan dives, plank leg lifts and clamshells.
6. STAYING FIT DURING UNCERTAIN TIMES
Now that you’ve reviewed the above list, you know there’s no reason to panic about missing out on your training as a runner. Just remember that you’re still working as hard as you do normally, which means you need the right gear to stay adequately hydrated. Swap out your marathon-ready water backpack or larger hydration pack for a smaller, more compact option. A sports water bottle is perfect for strength training and activities like yoga.
A waist pack, training belt or hydration belt may be best for treadmill and cycling workouts since you won’t be pausing much during them. It’s also important to drink water throughout the day so you don’t set yourself too far back when you get out and run again. No matter which activity you prefer, burning calories and energy will keep you from getting too anxious about being inside—and before you know it, you’ll be back to improving your performance on the trail or track. Consider being stuck inside in an opportunity to engage in new activities and discover more about how much you can learn.
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