Changchun, Feb 5 (IANS) With many people in China unable go outside owing to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic, “home marathons” have become a new option for many Chinese runners in this period.
A Hangzhou runner named Pan Shancu ran 6,450 circles around two beds in five hours at home; a Xi’an runner, Cheng Dadu, continuously ran 100km in the living room; a mother Tan Xue, finished a half marathon at home and posted on social media her race bib drawn by her son.
“I never stopped my training since the Spring Festival,” said the 36-year-old runner named Wang Yang from Changchun, Xinhua news reports. As a marathon fan with four years of running experience, he successfully got a ticket to the Chongqing Marathon last December. Aiming to break his personal record, he ran 251km this January. His training plans were disrupted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, but he chose, instead, to train indoors.
“I run on the treadmill and do slow endurance runs and variable speed runs on odd-numbered dates; and do power exercise such as squats, deadlifts and planks on even-numbered dates,” said Wang. Although he feels extremely depressed since he cannot run outside, he says that health and safety are the first principles of running.
Marathon, has gained popularity in China during recent years, with over 1,000 being held in the country each year. Though February is a slack season for marathon contests, training now is indispensable for runners since the peak season starts in March and lasts for 10 consecutive months.
Many contests that were scheduled in the first half of 2020 are now cancelled or postponed, meaning runners have to get creative in order to train.
Every night at seven, the 46-year-old Jin Lili, leader of the “Changchun Running Lovers Team,” holds a Wechat video conversation with her teammates. They supervise each other on their “home marathon” training progress after asking about each other’s health situation.
“Our training during the first two months this year will fail to reach the level in the past years, but we have to be responsible for ourselves and those beside us. So we are determined not to run outside. That is why our team organised some home exercises, including running in place and core strength training,” she said.
After the Hangzhou runner Pan posted his 5-hour record by circling his 8-meter home marathon track, the Xi’an runner Cheng Dadu rapidly “responded” with a new record of 8 hours and 6 minutes. Many runners read and liked this post online.
A Changchun runner named Yang Haoyue said that the joy of “home marathon” is nothing close to that of road running, adding, however, that it is only a temporary option.
“When the spring blossoms come, we will run freely outside again. If the Changchun Marathon in May were to be held as scheduled, this will be my ‘come-back run'”, Yang said.