The old bon-mot that every crises is an opportunity gained new popularity this year when Covid-19 induced lockdowns froze economies the world over. Colleagues are suddenly honing their expertise, friends and familiars are brushing up their foreign language skills and the most audacious are starting to dance tango.
To keep up with the Joneses we propose to run a marathon this year. The legendary 26.2 marathon miles are assuringly awe-inspiring but nevertheless manageable when approached the right way and deliver among many other benefits hours of deep concentration and focus.
Admittedly, running your first marathon amid a pandemic might sound a little daring but we at Six Minute Mile believe it is an undertaking that will greatly enhance your wellbeing this year without compromising your health. So let’s get to it!
First, pick a race of your liking and sign up. While many races over the summer are either cancelled, postponed or virtual there are still lot of events to choose from in the fall and winter season. Of course, there is a chance that your race will not happen this year but signing up is crucial to provide you with a personal goal. Only if you are committed you will find the motivation necessary to start running seriously.
Assess your running gear
Once you are past the first hurdle assess your running gear. Consider buying new shoes if you old casuals already have a couple of 1000 miles on their soles. You will spare your body a lot of stress with new cushions. In pre-pandemic times we would recommend every runner to go to a store and get a fitted pair. These day you can do a gait analysis online and check out our recommendations but in the end it comes down to personal preferences. You might also want to consider proper sun glasses, socks and bras/shirts.
Create your personal training plan
Create a personal training plan that suits your needs. The 26.2 miles are not for the faint hearted and require some training regardless of your personal level of fitness. If you’re a complete beginner, it’s best to start with a training plan focused on getting you round the course, not finishing in a certain time. If you are already logging 30 miles a week we suggest an intermediate plan. There is also a plethora of running apps available that can greatly enhance your training experience by keeping your motivated and committed to your goal. Most of them also serve another crucial purpose:
Connect with a local running group.
Some people like to run alone but there are many benefits of running with a group. These include to keep your motived to stick to your training plan, to improve your running performance by learning new techniques and it keeps you safe in case of injuries on the long runs. Of course in times of social distancing you might feel uncomfortable running in a group so consider doing it virtually. You can find virtual running groups in almost every community, around the country and the world. Choose the one you like best and start benefiting from group support.
Adjust your diet to match your training.
Nutrition has become a religion to some in recent years and we just want to recommend to eat real food when training for a marathon. Highly processed food is very yummy but most of the times lacks the energy you need to optimize your training performance. And a change of diet might also stimulate interested in cooking and other hobbies that will make the social distancing rules more palatable.
So sign up, get proper running shoes, make a training plan become part of a running group and adjust your diet. With these easy 5 steps you will be able to run a marathon in 2020 and reaping extra personal benefits as well; certainly enough to keep up with the Joneses.