How Your Running Shoes Will Help You Now

How Your Running Shoes Will Help You Now


By Brian Metzler

Life seems pretty grim right now, doesn’t it?

We’re all caught in the middle of this dangerous and debilitating coronavirus pandemic, some of us in much different ways than others. Most of us are sequestered in our homes, worrying about loved ones, concerned about the economy, trying to make sure we can make ends meet and generally going stir crazy.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that it’s going to ease up any time soon.

What do we do?

We can all take a deep breath, try to keep a positive mindset as best possible and appreciate the little things in life.

And we can lace up our running shoes and go for a run. In fact, it might be the single best thing we can do on a daily basis.

As much as it’s necessary to practice social distancing, good hygiene habits and looking after loved ones, it’s also important to keep exercising. Although health clubs, climbing gyms and yoga, spinning and treadmill studios are closed, you can walk out your front door and go for a run on a daily basis during this difficult time.

Running will allow you to get some fresh air and sunshine, help relieve stress and generally make you feel good. Every time we run, it gives us both immediate and long-lasting physical, mental and emotional boosts.

The beauty of running is that it impervious to almost everything life can throw at you — including bad weather if you’ve got the right gear. The two things that can sideline us are injury and illness, which means if you’re healthy right now today is a good day to get outside and run a few miles. The only other thing that can stop us is apathy (and social distancing), but that’s something we need to guard against during this difficult time.

Just go for a run.

Individually and collectively, we are strong, smart and resilient and we will get through this. But going for a run on a daily basis is the special sauce that will galvanize us, empower us and keep us upbeat when we need it the most.

Although the economy isn’t in a good place and a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet, running has always provided a positive stimulus in times of economic recession. If you have a pair of running shoes — or even if you buy a new pair this week — you can head out every day for months at a time without worry about the daily cost of running. Every day you run in those shoes is an investment in your health, a way to boost your energy, keep good ideas flowing and the most sure way to maintain a positive vibe.

You can’t worry about training for the time being, partially because we have no idea when races will held again. For now, just leave everything behind for 30 to 45 minutes — the stress of the pandemic all the way down to your watch that normally tracks your data on Strava — and just go for a run.

Mix it up if you want to. Run on a trail. Do a fartlek workout. Throw in some strides.

Just go for a run. Jog at a slow and easy pace. Walk when you need to. Whatever it takes

In this time of need, we can and should rely on running for all of the right reasons.

Running makes us strong. Running makes us happy. Running makes us whole.

Stay safe, clean and contained.


Brian Metzler is the author of “Kicksology: The Hype, Science, Culture and Cool of Running Shoes” (2019, VeloPress). He has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of "Running Colorado's Front Range" and the co-author of "Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running" and "Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner."

About Author

Brian Metzler

Brian has run races at every distance up to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a 3-time Ironman finisher & occasionally participates in pack burro racing in Colorado.

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