Runners around the world have been hurting because of the issues surrounding COVID-19. Even those of us who haven’t had to worry about being adequately motivated for a run are facing significant hurdles and not the kind you’d find on a track. The CBC mentions that many people lack motivation and are far less productive during lockdown that they used to be. Now that these shelter-in-place orders are starting to lift, many runners are finding new excuses to avoid lacing up and taking the trail. In this article, we’ll explore the pitfalls that isolation and demotivation create for runners and how to avoid them to bring joy in running.

Problem #1: Too Stressed

Anxiety has been skyrocketing lately because of the amount of uncertainty. This anxiety has spilled over to runners who have been stuck home for a month or more. Usually, running is a way to release some of that stress, but if you’re too stressed even to start running, what’s the solution? The best way to tackle this problem and bring joy in running is to phone a friend. Discussing your anxiety helps to lessen it, and all you really need is to drop it to a point where you’re not anxious to head out the door and start your run. Since everyone’s in a similar situation these days, you don’t have to worry about judgment.

Problem #2: The Temperature Outside is Unbearable

We’ve gone through spring, and that means summer is ready to start sending temperatures through the roof. There are a few ways to tackle this hurdle. Trail Runner Magazine suggests that if you’re running in hot weather, you should cut your pace back a little. It would be best if you still wore a mask while running, and slowing your speed will make it easier to manage your breathing. You should also carry a supply of water that you can get easy access to. Consider getting something with a straw that can slip under your mask for easy consumption.

Problem #3: That Mask is Annoying

While you can’t remove the mask, you can deal with how annoying it is. As we mentioned before, slowing your pace will help you breathe better, but you should also consider getting a moisture-wicking mask. Most of the discomfort you’ll get from wearing a mask will come from the sweat that having something pressing on your skin is likely to cause. The summer heat will only exacerbate the problem, so getting a moisture wicking mask will keep your face sweat-free and make wearing the mask a little more bearable.

Problem #4: The News is Depressing

By now, the constant updates on the state of the world has everyone worried. No one is sure if they’ll get a job that makes them real money at the end of this. With so much uncertainty in the air, you probably think that it makes no sense to go out running. That approach is the wrong one to have. Running is an escape, and while you can’t outrun the news, at least for a little while, you can make it fade into the background. Running helps to generate endorphins that your brain can use to find peace. One of the most amazing feelings is hitting your stride on a run and feeling the miles (and the day’s news) slip past you effortlessly.

Finding the Joy That’s Already There

While the world has changed because of COVID, running itself hasn’t. You might have to go through a few more precautions to achieve your goal to bring joy in running, but the wonder of lacing up and hitting the trail is still there. Don’t let the worry and anxiety that’s got you concerned take that joy away from you. If it does, then COVID has won, and you’ve lost. Runners don’t lose. They just get better.