Instead of worrying about what you missed, create your very own adventure event!
If you’ve been sitting on a couch, watching Netflix for the past month, and now, you’re just itching to do something, ANYTHING!
So it’s time to plan to create your own 5k race during the pandemic – or other adventure, if you’re feeling up for a bigger challenge!
You can also join other virtual races and events online!
Use the pandemic time to prepare for some kind of adventure that pushes you out of your comfort zone and gives you a purpose to get out and do something.
Nickel: Create Your Own Races!
Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter and author of the Chin Up column, says she had a lot of events on her schedule prior to the pandemic.
“I decided to create my own “races,” which are really just personal challenges to train for,” she says. “For example, I’m going to do a social distancing “triathlon” by the end of this month with two or three friends to celebrate my 50th birthday because the original triathlon has been canceled.”
Nickel says she is fighting now for her mental and physical health.
“I’ve always needed that but now more than ever,” she says. “I want to feel good mentally about this summer even though my favorite festivals and events have been canceled or postponed.”
And you don’t need to make this event a big deal, Nickel says.
“It just has to be one thing that you want to do. Pick a goal. Make it realistic. Pick a date on the calendar. Write it down. Pull in friends or family to join you. Or make it your own. And go for it!” she says.
What Do I Do First?
Creating an effective training plan is a challenge, even when there isn’t a global pandemic!
As with everything, we’ll start slow.
Let’s plan on getting out three days a week. If you want to do more, that’s great.
But start slowly.
Otherwise, you’ll get yourself sore, and the next day’s workout is going to suck. And you might not do it.
Day 1: Get out and move for 20 minutes.
If you’ve never run before, then jog for a minute, walk a minute.
Work up to running more than you walk, then running the whole time.
Your pace should be slow and steady. You’re building your aerobic system, and that takes time.
Build Up Your Aerobic System
Your next step t create your own 5k race during the pandemic is start building up that aerobic system.
Increase that 20 minutes of running. Try one to three minutes a week.
Caveat: You might find that you’re able to increase your running time more or less, depending on your past and current fitness.
Just keep adding time to your runs. Build up to jogging/running about 40 minutes or more, again depending on your fitness level.
Now Comes the Fun Part
Once you have that base of fitness, let’s make you faster!
Find a soccer field or some other open space. Warm up a bit with some mobility work.
You’ll be doing sprints down one line, behind the goal, then down the other line.
Your first sprint should be about 60 percent of your maximum effort. Just run a little harder than normal. You want to get warmed up with your sprinting so you don’t pull a hamstring!
Your second sprint will be about 70 percent, your third 80 percent, and so on, until you’re running as fast as you can down the sidelines.
Do these until your speed really slows down. Then stop and go home!
These short intervals will quickly build your aerobic and anaerobic systems, and make you stronger and faster, as well as give you more endurance.
Strength Training Will Help Build Your Endurance
It’s also good to build some strength training into your week.
Do some body squats, split squats, lateral squats, core work, and some push-ups two or three times a week.
The strength work doesn’t need to take long. And it yields a great benefit for your endurance, overall strength, plus strength training helps with kick starting weight loss, if that’s something you’re interested in.
Be Easy on Yourself
How to train for your own event? It takes time.
Your body needs to adapt, and that adaptation can take some time, depending on your past fitness.
Your body, like a stubborn teenager, does not want to change. But after a few weeks of working out several times a week, your body just gives in and agrees to the adaptation your workouts are demanding.
The best way to adapt, especially when you’re starting, is to keep a schedule. For example, on Tuesdays, we run. On Wednesdays, we strength train. On Fridays, we do yoga.
Whatever works for you.
But give yourself time.
Are You Ready?
Get started today! Create your own 5k race during the pandemic – or create some other kind of event.
Ride a bike for a new distance, Run all 18 holes of a golf course. Run or ride up a ski hill.
Create your training plan: Plan on three days a week of walking/ running. Plan on two days of some kind of strength training.
Create a schedule and stick to it.
Need some help with the schedule? Contact me here!