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The 7 kinds of social distancing runners

The different ways that runners are coping with their new normal

As runners adjust to their new normal, everyone is coping differently. Some runners are increasing their mileage, some are switching sports and others are taking a break entirely. Here are the seven ways runners are approaching running during this time of uncertainty.

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The “I do triples now” runner

This category is alternatively titled: ‘marathoners without a race date’ or ‘5,000m runners who accidentally became marathoners.’

Some runners have used their extra time to significantly increase their mileage. And we don’t mean increase by a kilometre or two, we mean adding an additional run to their day. Major kudos to the old and new mileage junkies.

The “I haven’t run since high school” runner


There are a lot of runners coming out of retirement during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re one of them, welcome back to the running club. Our one piece of advice? Please order new shoes, maybe even from your local run speciality store.

The “I can’t believer I’m a runner” runner

These are the new runners who weren’t even runners in high school. These people have always been into other things, but they’re now finding themselves doing the one activity they never expected: jogging.

The “I choose not to run” runner

Like Jerry Seinfeld once did, there are some avid runners who are choosing not to run right now–for several reasons. There are those who are lacking motivation (totally normal), those who are taking the time to properly heal an injury (Jess O’Connell, among others) and those who might not be able to for public health reasons. Whatever your reason, we’ll be ready and waiting when you make your running return.

The “I think I’m a cyclist now” runner

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C O N T E N T M E N T 🚴🏻‍♀️ 16h30 of biking in these legs over the past week. Contentment may not have been at the forefront of my mind at all times but it is something I have been working hard to maintain. All of that cycling is to lessen a little calf issue I developed and things appear to be trending in the right direction. Either way, last week I spent much more time in the saddle than I did running — sure, not ideal but I have so much to be thankful for during this little hiccup. I have the benefit of not having to run a spring marathon and I have more than enough time before I toe the line in Sapporo at the Olympics. So for now I am working on being acutely aware of this ideal circumstance whilst I aim to be the next @rusty_woods . . . Josh says I have a long way to go 🤷🏼‍♀️ . . #contentment #roadtotokyo #olympicbound #marathontraining #marathonrunner #tokyo2020 #runner #bcrunner #excellenceinthemoment #sweatequity #runchat #canadianrunner #legrind #relentlesspursuit #motivation #mondaymotivation #motivationmonday

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If you’re a runner dealing with an injury, chances are you’ve taken up cycling, one of the easiest forms of cross-training to do in your basement. Canadian marathon champion Dayna Pidhoresky is clocking major hours on the bike, and in classic runner fashion, she’s getting good at it.

RELATED: Dayna Pidhoresky’s cycling workouts for injured runners

The “stay the course” runner

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#tbt to start lines and finish lines, to run crews and team practices. . . Tuesday I ran twice. When I ran in the morning I was training for @grandmasmarathon. When I went out of my second run I was training for the unknown (like everyone else) with the cancellation of Grandmas. . . But I have been here before. I missed the fall 2018 & spring 2019 season due to injury. I was able to come back and run PBs in the 10k, half marathon and marathon! AND BONUS this time I am not injured so can continue training. SO… WE can all come back to the next season better than ever. 🙌🏃🏼‍♀️💪🏃‍♂️🎉 . ✨The training you have done to this point is not wasted. Your body will remember! And now you just have a little extra time to work on the little things. ✨ . . AND let’s be honest how AMAZING is the racing scene going to be when we finally get to hit the start line? 💥💥💥 And even better that PAIN FACE ⬆️ nearing the finish line! 😉🎉 . . . #runsolo #playinside #playfortheworld #yougotthis #stridewise #stridewiserunning #comeback #gratefulforeveryrun #canadianrunning #painface

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This is the runner whose marathon hasn’t been cancelled (yet). While it’s unlikely that any summer marathons go ahead, some people are taking comfort in sticking to their routines. If your routine included training for a marathon, why not keep it that way? Everything builds on itself, so the good work you put in now won’t go to waste–even if there isn’t a start line in the immediate horizon.

The “races might be cancelled but you can’t cancel Strava segments” runner

This is the runner who lives for the competition. This runner might not have any start lines in their future, but they do have every CR in their neighbourhood.