The Importance of a Strong Mindset During Quarantine

How should runners navigate this time of isolation during the Pandemic?


You gotta cool down after a hard track workout somehow!

 The majority of runners fail to understand that in order to become great at running, you have to work on becoming mentally stronger as a runner.  The only way to do that is by pushing yourself to be super uncomfortable during hard workouts and long workouts.  This way, when it comes to the important races and that painful last mile, you will be already used to dealing with that kind of pain which gives you an advantage over your competition.

Ever since this quarantine started, runners from all around the world took to social media to express their desire to get back to running in groups again.  It’s mentally harder to run alone daily when you know that there won’t be any competitions in the next 6 months, and possibly even up to a year or two according to CNN.

Addressing this problem in the running culture, Nike started an ad campaign called “You Can’t Stop Us,” to help keep runners mentally stronger and motivated to get out and run alone. The campaign features some of the biggest track stars on the planet who are sponsored by Nike, offering inspiration to runners everywhere to get their game on running solo…for now.

Professional runners also took a big hit from this whole situation, Eluid Kipchogy, the first man to ever run under 2 hours in the Boston Marathon, was heavily affected by the sudden shutdown.  He’s an athlete that strongly believes in teamwork and having a strong mind when it comes to training and competitions. Eluid KIpchogy uses his social media account, which has over 1 million followers, to share the mental struggles of having to leave his training group and start training alone like everyone else. He posts videos of his workouts in hopes of making training easier by sharing the experience with other people.

Mohammed Elderi is 17 years old and he is an XC and track athlete for my old school ( Justice high school in Falls Church) who believes that this quarantine made it harder for him to convince himself to get out and train, but whenever he gets on his social media account he says that he gets inspired by seeing Eluid kipchogy and other professionals, elite athletes running and working hard.

I also find it mentally challenging to get out and train during this whole shutdown situation mainly because I use future races and fast times as motivation to get out and train hard since there are no upcoming races in the near future.  I had to find new ways to motivate myself in order to keep fit. I also started to share my training routines in social media in order to keep training fun and help others that are going through similar phases. I went back and figured out why I started running in the first place and realized that it was something I’m just really good at, on top of which I wanted to push my body and find out for myself if humans really have a limit. Remembering what originally inspired us to take on a sport or personal discipline can help us recapture our passion and dedication to it, even in the midst of quarantine and isolation.

I hope that we can all get through this safely and for all athletes to come out mentally stronger than ever before.