There’s little doubt that COVID-19 has changed the way we operate our daily lives. Each of us is finding challenges and opportunities as it relates to getting in our miles around the state. Given the state of the world, we thought we’d share some tips on good practices for logging your #100ALMILES during this pandemic.
I know this tip sounds obvious, but right now it’s more important than ever to get outside. Mental and physical health is imperative during a crisis, and logging your miles in the outdoors will help with coping. When given the option, try to choose the road or trail over the stationary bike or treadmill. Everything will feel a little less isolating if you do.
Bring Your Own Water
Make sure you carry whatever water (and nutrition) you need for your activity. The hot Alabama summer is around the corner and we all consume water at a higher rate than other times of the year. Don’t get caught without it! It might help to invest in a running pack that allows for a hydration bladder. It’s key to plan ahead and take more than you think you’ll need. And avoid using public water fountains and convenience stores for refilling.
Be Considerate and Mindful
We all know the six-foot rule is in place when out in public. Don’t let that rule slip while working out. Be aware of spacing when running a trail or paddling a skinny creek. Don’t assume that because you’re passing someone quickly it’s okay to brush by at a closer distance. Step to the side if needed in order to maintain proper spacing. You’re doing yourself and the other person a favor!
If you like early morning runs when it’s cooler or mid-afternoon rides in the park, chances are that everyone else does as well. Think ahead about when you plan to log your #100ALMILES and try to pick times that will likely be less crowded. After sundown is a good time to get outside when it’s generally less crowded. Make sure you have a good headlamp to see your way!
Don’t Stop Exploring
We live in a beautiful state. Don’t stop exploring during this time. Going back to a previous tip, be mindful of people around you and places that might be crowded. Do online research before going to a popular hiking spot or waterfall to see if crowding has been an issue. Use sites like AllTrails to find lesser known locations for getting in your miles. Keep getting out there and enjoying nature, just do it responsibly!
Greg Wingo is the manager of the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge Ambassador Program and owner of ROAM Projects, an outdoor recreation consulting company.