March 2020 Newsletter

Kia ora koutou katoa

COVID-19 Situation

These are difficult times. People are worried about becoming sick with Covid-19, about their loved ones becoming sick, the risks to their livelihood or generally struggling with the changes in their lives.
There are good reasons to feel like that, but being continually stressed is unhealthy. We do not do very well if we are stuck in “fight or flight” mode all the time. So the trick, which is very hard to do, is to choose a good option and then stop worrying.
That said, I’d like to offer another thing to be aware of: “social distancing” is good for limiting the spread of disease, but it is bad for our mental health. The risks of being alone for a long time (we have at least 4 weeks ahead of us) are significant, as one review paper states:

“This increased risk is comparable to the risk of obesity and lack of physical activity and whether isolated people were lonely or not, did not appear to make a difference.”

So how can we maintain physical and “social fitness” without stressing out?
There isn’t a single answer, but the first step is to continue running or walking, the habit of going for a few runs or walks every week is great for our wellbeing.

Here is what our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said on Monday 23 March 2020:

“I understand that self-isolation is a daunting prospect,” Ardern said.
“You can leave your home for fresh air, a walk, exercise. To take your children outside. But remember the simple principle. It must be solitary.
“We are asking that you only spend time with those you are in self isolation with. And if you are outside, keep your distance from others. That means 2 metres at all times. This is the single most important thing we can do right now to stop further community transmission.”

Keeping in touch with members during the Covid-19 Situation

The Committee will provide updates on the Covid-19 situation by sending out regular newsletters and by posting on the WMC Facebook page. To become a member of the WMC Facebook group search Wellington Marathon Clinic and click join.

Members keeping in touch with each other

Members can keep in touch with each other by sharing their activities on social media (perhaps our Facebook page or even on Apps such as Strava. We’re interested in what you are doing.
Pass your contact details to your WMC running and walking buddies and stay in touch with them.
Here are some ways to stay in touch:
* In person but at least 2m apart
* Facebook
* WhatsApp, Messenger, (there are lots of websites with chat-room features)
* Phone, text
* Emails.

Workouts that can be done at home

Below are links to two 7-minute workouts which can be done from home. One is a core workout, the other a HIIT workout. Have fun!
Lastly, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy your outings/workouts!
Kia kaha,
Wim van Dijk, President

Coping with Cancelled Running Events

Article by Alicia Bunge
I had plans for 2020 – big plans. After recovering from illness in 2019, I was ready to step up my game – run more often, and faster. I had four races lined up and a couple more planned.
But life isn´t always compatible with the best laid plans.

“Cancellation” and “postponement” is the new reality for runners and walkers alike. For good reason of course, but reason is often last in line among the many emotions we experience in such situations.

I had two reactions when I realised my races won´t happen. The first was disappointment and being left hanging with no alternatives. The article on that Judith posted on our Facebook page covers this quite well, so I encourage you to have a read.

People react differently to disappointment. Some I spoke to (including myself) tend to make less-than-healthy-food-in-large-quantities their coping mechanism. My motto is: one time is no time, but two times is one time too many. It´s ok to let out the disappointment, anger, frustration etc when you read that email telling you your event will no longer take place. Just make better choices tomorrow.

My second reaction was utter relief. There are already a lot of stressors in my life. And I´m sure all of us have a couple more since the Covid-19 outbreak. Not having to stick to a strict running programme when so much else is going on, gives me more breathing space.

But I am a runner. And I will keep running for as long as I can/am allowed to. I still follow my programme, just not as strictly (e.g. slightly shorter distance or two instead of three hours). And on the days I was supposed to race, I´ll do shorter test races. On Saturday 21 March, a group of us were supposed to take part in Round the Vines. Instead, Lisa and I ran a 10k
race on our own. (Happy to report we both got close to our PBs).

In times of uncertainty I like to remind myself of the simple joys in life and why I run in the first place. For me it’s about feeling connected to like-minded people and keeping healthy.
Races are an added bonus.

In a recent Runner´s World UK podcast an unnamed person was quoted as saying: “Walking is the simplest expression of freedom”. This resonates with me. I´m glad I can get out and about – breathe fresh air and feel the sun on my face (when she isn´t hiding behind clouds).
When I go for a walk or run, I can leave my worries at home and simply be. I´m grateful for that.

And when the time comes I´ll be ready and get back to chasing a new PB.

All Day Workout

(From the little book of BIG workouts, Damien Kelly)
Provided by Judith Dennis
Here’s a way to fit exercise into your day, from waking up to retiring for the night!

  1. Squats: Whenever you see a chair, bench, etc – do a squat! Well, 8-15 squats! Then get on with your day!
  2. Push-ups: Through the day, look out for good push-up spots – the back of a couch, a park bench, a low fence. Be on the balls of your feet, hands just wider than shoulder- width, and lower your chest down to the object, touch lightly, then rise. Do 8-15 reps each time.
  3. Step-ups: Look out for a low step or bench. Step up with one leg then down again, then step up and down with the other leg. Do 20-30 reps each time you see a step!
  4. Plank: For those of you not doing the plank challenge, try this easier version. Find a bench or solid sofa, and place your forearms on it, with your torso and legs stretched out to form a straight line behind you. Don’t let the hips sag, or stick your backside in the air – aim for a straight line, with shoulders over your hands. Squeeze your core
    muscles. Try holding for 20-60 seconds, 3-5 times a day.
  5. Core breaths: When seated on a chair with no back, sit tall – imagine an apple between your chin and chest. Lean back about 10˚. You’ll feel your core muscles grip and it will be hard to maintain your posture. Hold for 3 breaths then sit up. Do 10-15 reps.
  6. All-day core workout: After your morning shower, brace your core by trying to reduce the circumference of your waist, and tie a piece of string around your waist at the belly button. Then throughout the day, every time you release your core muscles, you’ll feel the string tighten. Soon you’ll be engaging your core without even thinking about it!
  7. Stairs: Take the stairs instead of the lift. Walk short journeys instead of taking the car. Get off the bus a stop (or two or three) early and walk the rest of the way.
  8. Queue: Any time you’re standing waiting (at the bank, for the bus, doing the dishes, etc), stand for 20 seconds on one foot, then 20 seconds on the other. Do 2-3 sets on each foot.
    Keep safe everyone!

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