From the editor October 2020 issue
Fall has arrived. In a typical year, back-to-school activities would be in full swing and fall races would fill the weekends. While much of that has changed, brisk morning runs and leaf-lined trails are a sign that summer is no longer around to keep us warm. Our perspective naturally shifts as we witness leaves turn bright hues of yellow and red. This is also a time of year when routines can make or break your training.
On a Zoom call with UltraRunning Magazine ambassadors, held right before the start of school, a question came up. How are those of us who work from home running regularly, while our children attempt an online learning platform? It’s a common problem that many of us are facing.
One ambassador, Rachel Reese, had been building up for a race when COVID hit. She’s a single mom and wasn’t able to leave her son, so she ended up doing a neighborhood 50-miler by running laps around her block. Adaptation to your personal situation by setting up a routine that’s easily adhered to will help create a successful training regime for the months ahead .
Each of us has goals and while they weren’t all meant to be in 2020, they are still there. Races have been altered and morphed into virtual events. FKTs and other unique challenges have become a way to “race” without lining up on a traditional start line. And whether we like to admit it or not, while COVID has taken away some of our most beloved annual events, it’s also tested us. We continue to prove that we are resilient and tough by thinking outside of the box – farther than anyone could have ever imagined. This year has provided us with a new way of looking at things, and it’s changed us, and ultrarunning, forever.
This issue includes examples of unique race formats that are anything but routine and how to train for them, and many are about as predictable as our future with COVID. It’s the element of surprise that will keep you on your toes as you run for the finish line.
As we settle into the fall and adapt to our new normal, whatever that may be, find what works for you and stick with it. Maybe that means getting up before the sunrise to get in daily miles. Or maybe it’s hopping on the treadmill as soon as your kids get online with their teachers. Establishing a routine early on will keep you from focusing on how and when you’ll get your run in each day. While those first few days of early alarms might be jarring to the system, you’ll be better off once the day is in full swing and you have one less thing to worry about. That consistency will allow you to focus on training for the year ahead. When will our beloved races return? When can we hug our ultrarunning community once again? Only time will tell.
For now, do yourself a favor and take the time to establish a routine this fall. It’ll help you slide into winter months with a solid running base, and you’ll have a foundation for spring training and that inevitable next race.
These are challenging times, but there’s hope for sure.