Tips for runners:
28 things you can do when you are stuck inside

Hopefully, you never need these tips for runners who are stuck indoors but it usually happens once in a while that we are forced to stay home for whatever reason. 

I'm not sure about you but that can make me pretty antsy especially if I was planning on running.

So I thought up a list of things a runner could do if they aren't able to leave their house. 

All of these tips for runners are related to:

  • running
  • improving our running
  • improving our health
  • or improving our mind! 

I hope it inspires you in some way!

28 tips for runners who have to stay home

1. Meal prep to stay on target.

Make up smoothie bags, prep a week of salads, cook a soup for this week and freeze the rest later.

It’s easy to feel emotions of wanting to be out and about and letting those emotions dictate our eating. However, stay in control!

The easiest way is to be prepared for the day with healthy options at every meal.

Here’s an example of a meal prep routine that I enjoy. 

2. Wash all your running clothes.

Give them extra care! Tackle any sweat stains, research how to wash your running shoes (Some pairs I just throw straight in the wash, others I scrub with dawn and baking soda).

3. Box up shoes to donate.

Runners tend to hold onto their shoes even if they haven’t worn a pair in a while. I get it! They have sentimental value.

However, consider donating them to a charity!

You can send your running or other shoes (since you probably live in your running shoes you might have more of the other kind to donate) to them for free through Zappos for Good

4. Do some cross-training at home.

Even if you don’t own weights or other equipment such as a Peloton, there are so many great YouTube workouts that you can do from home that require little to no equipment.

Here’s a cross-training YouTube workouts list for runners that I put together a while back.

5. Make a list of all the running-related/health-related items that you have been wanting to tackle if you “only had the time”.

You have the time now!

Be sure to use it to do those things you always wanted to do and take advantage of what we have been given! 

6. Try a new recipe. 

There are absolutely tons of delicious recipes online and I’m sure you probably already have a few that you have been meaning to try.

One option is to try these delicious protein poppers for quick healthy snacks.

If you are low on ingredients, don't be afraid to substitute what you don’t have with things that you do have! When you are cooking I find it almost never makes that big of a difference. 

7.  Learn to tie your shoelaces a new way.

We’ve seen those articles and pictures of how to tie your shoes a different way to help aid different issues that we might be experiencing.

It would be a great time to follow those instructions and learn and experiment with a couple different options. Here’s a few different ways you can try to address some common problems! 

8. Learn how to use kines tape.

There are many benefits to using kines tape as a runner especially when you have a lingering injury or a weaker area that you want to give support to.

I suggest watching a video on how to use kines tape for your specific issue. Here’s a YouTube search to get you started! 

9. Learn how to foam roll.

Foam roll is a great skill for long-distance runners to learn! It helps to break down muscle fascia, and addresses soreness (we’ve all experienced that!) 

Here’s a video for beginners on the basics to foam rolling. 

10. Go through my mental training book for marathoners.

Yes, this little workbook is geared towards marathoners training for a race, however it can be very beneficial if you feel like you need to get your head mentally in the right spot for your running.

It goes into how to manage doubts, talk to yourself positively, guides you through writing your why, gets you in the mode of practicing visualization and brings you tips on how to stay motivated. 

Ready for 10 more tips for runners who have to stay home?

11. Research the best running shoes.

Have you been wanting to invest in a new pair of running shoes but haven’t had the time to research which might be the best for you? I have the ultimate guide on finding the best running shoes as a long distance runner!

12. Create an inspiration board.

It could be a poster board, a bulletin board or simply tape some quotes and images up on a wall.

Find things that inspire you right now with your running and hang it up.

  • Your running goals
  • your running hero
  • a finish line picture
  • an article that inspired you 

- make it a place that you can find joy and motivation. 

13. Make a marathon bucket list.

We all have those “dream” races that we want to run.

They help to keep us working towards our goals.

Maybe even go a little crazy and just research all the best races out there, read others’ experiences and take a little virtual marathon race journey to come up with your list. 

Here’s a post on the top 25 best half marathons in the U.S.

14. Read a running book.

Even if you can’t get to the library there are so many free options out there!

I personally use Hoopla and the Libby apps for eBooks and audiobooks.

Both are free and have a huge selection of options and many books geared for long distance runners.

15. Do a strength workout.

There are awesome bodyweight workouts on YouTube (I love Kristin Andrus’ workouts for building strength and she has many that do not need any equipment. 

Amazon can get you a great set of weights though if you want to add some to your home exercise arsenal.

Alright, we have 13 tips for runners at home left!

16. Perform running drills in your yard, driveway or another open area of your house.

You really don’t need a lot of room!

Running drills are beneficial in:

  • improving your running form
  • increasing speed
  • building stronger running muscles that will avoid injury

If you are not training for a race right now, or your training is on hold for a while, consider adding in one running drills workout per week.

 Here are some running drill exercises you can do right now from home!

17. Work on improving your flexibility!

As a runner, your muscles are under constant contraction with every step that you take.

Choose to make it a priority today to get a good elongating muscle workout in such as pilates, yoga, ballet, or even just a long focused stretching session.

Your body won't be able to thank you enough!

There are so many online classes you can take in any of these areas, and as always, good old YouTube never fails to disappoint with the workout videos it contains!

18. Focus on getting at least 10,000 steps in.

The reason why companies like FitBit set the daily steps goal at 10,000 is because you almost always have to do some physical activity in order to achieve this goal.

When you are stuck at home it can be easy to simply sit around and not realize how inactive you are.

If you havesmart watch - I have the FitBit Versa make it a hard fast rule that while you are forced to stay home you will get your 10,000 steps in every day.

You might have to get creative and run up and down your stairs or do some dance aerobics but this will give you an energy boost, wake you up and reduce stress. 

19. Eat only inflammation reducing foods.

It is so important to focus on what you are putting in your body especially during times of high stress.

Many processed foods (and foods that Americans eat daily) are highly inflammatory and increase cortisol (stress) levels!

Choose to eat foods that fight inflammation at every single meal today.

Reducing inflammation as a runner is also important as long runs can put us in a state of chronic inflammation if we aren’t pro-active in fighting against it. Here is a list of anti-inflammatory foods

Only 8 tips for runners left!

20. Take the time to research if you need to add running supplements into your routine.

Vitamin C is the one vitamin that I make sure I am always well stocked on!

It’s good take Vitamin C after your longer runs when your immune levels are usually suppressed. If you find yourself low on energy, consider adding in a B Vitamin. 

Here’s a list of some vitamins that I find are important for runners. 

21. Try a different treadmill workout. 

If you own a treadmill, do something different on it!

There are many workouts on Pinterest and even YouTube and Instagram that will give you inspiration and ideas. 

I also have a list of 7 Treadmill workouts right here!

22. Stock up on any running essentials you need.

Be ready for each and every run by checking your regularly used items and see what you need to replace or stock up on. 

Some ideas:

  • sunscreen
  • hydration pack
  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • energy drink mix

23. Complete a running scrapbook of all of the races or any memorable runs that you have run.

This can be a great gratitude exercise as you realize the journey that you have made through your running.

Print out photos, tape your bibs inside, jot down notes, highlights, and all the things that made those runs one for the books whether good or bad.

You could do this in a photo album, make a Shutterfly book (super easy), or fill up a Chatbook with your running photos from Instagram. 

24. Book your hotels for a future race you want to run or plan a running trip.

Even if you don’t feel confident booking right now, plan out where you might want to stay for a future race.

Come up with an itinerary of how you want that trip to look, things you might want to see in the area you are running in, what you want to do.

It’s good to dream and have things to look forward to when you are going through rough phases. 

25. Journal your thoughts.

Running is usually the time where runners process so many of their thoughts consciously and subconsciously.

If you aren’t able to run right now you might have a lot of pent up thoughts and emotions.

Take the time to release them with simple pen and paper.

You can always end up saving those notes to look back on or even just throw them away when you are done.

The point is to find relief and let it go, let it go!

26. Ask yourself what others need from you right now.

Don't be counterproductive, don't waste this precious time. Time is a non-renewable resource.

Don’t make the mistake of wishing it away!

Choose to be pro-active with it, live in this moment, love those around you, get outside yourself and ask yourself how you can serve and help others and love always starts at home! 

27. Start a new challenge. 

It could be anything:

  • a strength training challenge
  • healthy eating challenge
  • self-care challenge, etc. 
  • signing up for a virtual race

Ask yourself what is something that you want to be intentional about right now and improve upon. 

If you are challenging yourself to a virtual run here are  6 tips for preparing for your virtual race from the Mile by Mile Blog!

28. Assess your nutrition.

Track what you eat, track your macronutrients and see where gaps might be in your overall daily nutrition.

If you are experiencing a plateau in your performance or even weight loss goals, this is a great way to find patterns or see where you are tripping up. 

Bonus: Go through the EAT LIKE A MARATHONER Nutrition course and craft your training nutrition plan + pre-race nutrition, race refuel, and nutrition recovery plans!

I hope this list of tips for runners inspired you with ideas of how to use the extra time you have been given! 

Which was your favorite?

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