With my mileage dropping practically to zero, I’ve hung up my singlets for stringers. Should I still even consider myself a runner?
A stringer is a singlet or a sando with much bigger armholes, lower necklines, and narrower shoulder straps—to the point of becoming barely just a string. They’re often worn in the gym to minimize movement restrictions while lifting. Strangely enough, Google’s image search is able to show them but the text search returns other definition.
My fitness journey actually started with working out in the gym—years before I started running. I still remember my early days when I started using the treadmill to warmup—I was so proud of myself when I reached a speed of 10kph! It actually never went away even during the pear of my running when I was doing 100K a month—it was my check-and-balance to ensure that I don’t loose too much muscle definition. It was actually only the pandemic that broke my years-long habit.
After losing years of progress (as indicated by muscle size and weight loss) with months of no workout due to the lockdown, I’ve recommitted myself to recovering my fitness losses by returning to the gym. Sure, the pandemic is still there and the restrictions, but we can’t sit on the sidelines forever—life has to go on! It could be the lockdown fatigue talking, but I believe that if we keep doing the reasonable measures to keep ourselves safe, we can mitigate the risk. After all, nothing in life is absolutely risk-free. Not doing anything for your health might be as deadly as the pandemic itself.
On my end, I keep myself protected by wearing a mask properly (ensuring that it effectively covers my nose and mouth) and a face shield when travelling to prevent germs from entering through my eyes. I prefer using the type that has covered upper section so that air would only flow from behind my ears or under the shield, not from above.
In the gym, I wear a cloth mask to allow myself to be able to breathe while protecting others from my “exhaust” just in case I had just picked up the virus. This definitely leaves me realistically unprotected from viruses, but as I see everyone in the gym masking up, we’re all protecting each other from each other’s breaths. There’s also alcohol everywhere and we’re all advised to wipe the equipment before and after use. And as with most establishments these days, everyone’s temperature is checked before entry and only a limited number of people are allowed entry at any time. Since I go only at off-peak times and everyone seems to be doing their part, I gained confidence that going back to the gym is safe—at least in my situation.
Running outdoors though remain to be a challenge for me. The general rule is to wear face shields outdoors. Running with a mask is already a huge challenge, adding a face shield could be dangerous as they tend to fog up. As I don’t live near an area conducive to running, I don’t have an idea if I can get away with running with just a mask on, especially if it’s just a cloth mask. And even if the air outdoors is arguably much safer than those inside the gym, I won’t have control over the behavior of the people I’d come across on the road, especially in narrow sidewalks. The closest thing to running I’m able to do now is running errands where I walk a few kilometers to and from the supermarket.
With my predicament, I guess runningpinoy would take a backseat for now from actually running but still pursue fitness in the confines of a gym. I’d definitely still help the local running community however way I can though. I’ll keep the singlets in storage for now until the day we get to run outdoors safely again.