April 7, 2020 – Sharing our space

Hi Everyone!


Hope you’re all staying healthy and finding some peace and joy these days. I’ve passed many of you out running and it’s always a happy moment for me when I do!


What I’ve been thinking about this week is how lucky we are as runners that THIS, our THING hasn’t been taken from us. Yet. We still have our escape and means of recharging, releasing, invigorating, calming, meditating, …. whatever we use it for. Many people have lost their means of doing all this, and are now searching for a new one – many of them landing on running.


As a runner I’ve always felt a little outside of “normal”. Running was never the “cool” sport. Many longtime runners sort of self-identify as the quirky, nerdy sort. I’m used to people thinking that what I do is odd and a bit extreme. It’s definitely not something I talk about doing around non-runners. So I’ve always felt so happy and encouraging when others want to try it out. It’s not easy, and it takes a certain type to really get into it, but once you do, we totally get each other.


But suddenly our weird, quiet, personal world of running has become extremely popular and visible. We have a lot of newcomers who are trying this out as their back-up from their usual routine. And as longtime comfortable runners, I think we should welcome these newcomers in with open arms. We should think of ourselves as gracious hosts.


Yes, newcomers don’t yet all know the social norms, and our usual spaces might feel a bit crowded and less open than we’re used to. Other non-runners are noticing the influx and some of their stress and anxiety is turning towards our growing population. I don’t think it’s justified, but maybe it’s a normal reaction to new patterns. There are currently a LOT more of us runners out there. So let’s smile and wave from a distance. Let’s maintain grace and the high road when others feel the need to vent about us. Let’s try to make sure we’re giving the most anxious people out there the space they need to feel comfortable (even if it’s way more than they actually need!) Let’s lead our new running neighbours by example.


I’m pretty sure not all of these new runners will stay. Some might, and I’d be happy to have more runners in the world (I might be biased, but I tend to think that runners are usually generally good people and if everyone ran the world would be a better place). So let’s do what we can to make them feel welcome and supported and try to take grumpy, anxious comments with a grain of salt. We’re obviously the lucky ones – we’re still running!


If looking for some “spice” this week, here are some options (remember, pick what feels right – not all of them):

  1. 8-10 x 2 min hard, 1 min easy (if you like distances better, 6-8 x 600m w 1:30 rest)
  2. Tempo: 2 x 15 min w 4 min easy
  3. 4 x short hill sprints after any easy jog
  4. easy jog, followed by a session of mobility and strides (perfect to be done with kids of any age)

Thanks guys – have fun 😊