March 31, 2020 – Changing routines

Hey Guys,


First up, huge congrats to Ingrid Ambus and Steph Bannan who both ran their own versions of Around The Bay this weekend! That was so inspiring and uplifting to see. Honestly – you both put in so much work to get there and then to do it on your own with no crowds or nutrition and water support… Way to go guys!!! You both deserve medals. (did anyone else run their own secret race that I didn’t know about?)


Hope everyone else is finding some sort of adaptation to our new and ever changing “normal”. I don’t have a ton to say, except to add my own perceptions as I run through this to maybe make you feel ok about what you may be going through.


What I’ve noticed is that losing a pattern and regular routine means things take more energy. There are a lot of efficiencies to having patterns locked in. We’ve learned how to spend energy where we want to and conserve it where we can. That’s why routines work so well. Many of us had found something that sort of worked for us pre-isolation days. Whether that was early morning runs, certain workouts and long runs where we knew all we had to do was show up and the group would get us through, run-commutes which we didn’t have to think about too much, cross-training and strength classes which we could slot into certain days…


Now we have to put new thought, decisions and mental energy into what we’re going to do every day. Nothing is automatic. Don’t underestimate the amount of energy that takes. If you’re finding runs and workouts more of a struggle than usual (I am!) I think this is a very real reason. Do not panic about being “out of shape” or “not as fast” as during normal pattern times. It is actually taking more energy because you haven’t created those automatic pathways yet. If you were forcing the same results under these conditions it would be taking a lot more energy to do so – energy you probably don’t need to be spending right now. (much like your running, I’m sure many other things in your life are taking more energy these days too, and you need to hold onto some of it!)


So why not cling to your old routine as tightly as possible? If your day-to-day looks pretty similar as before, go for it.  But we’d set up our past routines to serve us for our “normal” times. Now we are needed in different ways at different times by different people, so I’m guessing that now a different pattern will probably serve you better. If you’re working from home you might find it works better for you to be able to get out of the house mid-day for a run or before dinner to clear your head instead of early in the morning. Or maybe you still like to wake up with a run, but prefer multiple shorter jaunts than one longer one. Maybe you need to do some runs with other people in your household in order to get them out the door. Very likely your day revolves around bigger issues than your running, and your run now holds a very different priority than it once did so you’ll fit it in whenever you feel like it.  Totally valid! Experiment and find what works. Your needs have changed so your routines will too – just give them some time to settle in and feel comfortable again – they will!


(and speaking of routines, thank-you to Kerry for keeping us together on Tuesday mornings for bootcamp – I’m holding onto that one!)


Here are some workouts to try this week if you want to add a little spice:

  1. (shared by Amanda – thanks Amanda!) 6 rounds of Riverdale Hill sprints with 10 squats at the top and 10 push-ups at the bottom
  2. 4-5 x 3 mins w 1:30 rest (10K pace), 4 min rest, 6-7 x 1 min w 1 min rest (5K pace)
  3. Tempo option: 3 x 8 min (half marathon pace) w 3 min easy
  4. Easy jog to a park – 20 mins of mobility and strides – easy jog back (hint: this is a great one to do with a kid of any age)


DO NOT DO ALL OF THESE! Pick the one you feel like doing.


Enjoy guys and hope to see you soon!