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Racing A Train: And Other Tips for Surviving COVID-19

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

The other day a client asked how she could challenge herself given that all competitions had ceased as we know it, like her track season, and the NCAAs. So, I told her about the time I raced a train. And that got her wheels turning. Maybe it will do the same for you.

This was back when I was training for a marathon. Feeling super-demoralized by long loop courses and solitary track workouts, I forced myself to come up with a solution. Boredom is its own virus. I started to get excited thinking about just a one-way trip, a destination to run to, and a certain time that I had to be there. Those were the bones. But I needed an opponent--and then I thought of the train.

I studied the schedule, picked my starting point, and charted my route. Thirteen miles later I was able to make it to the station before the train got there. I never wavered in my pace. As a matter of fact, I got in some good pick-ups as I neared the rails.

If you're going to do this during a pandemic, come up with a creative solution to not ride the train back by using a bike, car or friend. Sounds like a logic puzzle, but you'll figure it out.

Here are some other ideas:

  1. Polar Opposites: Get a partner, pick a favorite short course or loop, and run/bike/scooter in opposite directions. See who finishes first. Give a head start to the other to make it more fair or add an extra challenge.

  2. Disc Golf: A hip game like regular golf, and played on an outdoor disc golf course. Throw discs made for the game (or a frisbee) along a course of 18 baskets and keep score. Run instead of walk your game (there are no carts in disc golf). If you can't find a course, use landmarks as targets or set up your own, (but don't hurt trees or people). Disc golf courses are often in or near parks

  3. Wall Ball: There are so many things you can do with a ball, aside from throwing, shooting baskets, or rebounding off a wall. A lot of these games were developed in the earlier part of the last century. Do some research. You can also do dips, push-ups, and crunches on a basketball, aside from dribbling and shooting it.

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