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Some Encouragement from Billy

It's great to see how many people are out there running, walking, cycling, and just getting outside! No doubt there has been a tremendous increase in people being active. Just wish it was under different circumstances. So... we know from our "Working Out With Billy Shue" series that Billy is ON IT on a daily basis. We figured we would catch up with him and see how he has had to adjust to things with the new stay at home orders. We hope you find this useful. Stay active and run solo!

With our current social distancing environment, how have you had to adjust your training?

Because a lot of my run training throughout the week were solo anyway during the week, the adjustment was not a major transition for me.  I do, however, miss the weekly Thursday group track workouts I was doing, the Saturday group bike rides, the early Sunday morning group runs, and definitely the racing, but I also realize halting the group workouts and events are necessary measure needing to be taken right now to flatten the course and ultimately end the pandemic.  Since I am not able to race and do group workouts right now, I am having fun with doing my own high-intensity run workouts in different places around Charlotte where I can compete for Strava segments and/or check out new routes I have not run before to give me that extra little bit of motivation in a high-intensity effort.  For cross-training, I have an Air Assault airdyne bike that I have been doing all my cross-training on, which can range from 45-minute rides to 2-hour long rides (the latter being the substitute for my group long ride day).

We know you use to have barre classes and other group activities in a gym type of environment. Are you able to do those virtually or supplement them in some way?

Because of the day-and-age we are in with social media and advanced online capabilities, I have been able to continue taking strength classes virtually.  The three Pure Barre locations in the Charlotte city limits have teamed up to offer virtual classes online that you can take as a paying member or by purchasing a package of classes, which has been great, as I have figured out a good workout room setup where I can get the most out of the classes.  I also have some awesome friends who are fantastic fitness trainers and instructors who have recorded their workouts or provided detailed workout descriptions for folks to follow on their own, which has been very helpful.

Do you have any virtual workout sessions you would recommend?

If you were working out at a particular gym, I would recommend looking at their social media (Instagram or Facebook) to see if they are offering online classes.  If not, I would look up some of your favorite instructors on social media to see if they are offering live/recorded workouts or posting exercises you can do.  Gyms that have the capability of offering online workouts is a critical way for them to continue operating in some capacity and being able to pay the instructors, so if you are able to purchase a package of online classes, you are doing both yourself and the instructor(s) a big favor.

NOTE: Check out our story on Free Virtual Training Resources.

With races like the Boston Marathon postponed, has your training focus changed? I know when you're preparing to peak for a race your workouts gear toward being at top performance for that event. Have you gone more into a maintenance mode?

I am still actually following the training plan my coach gave me for the Boston Marathon, which was scheduled to be on April 20.  I have just been focusing on the training a week at a time and am keeping an open mind on how best to utilize this training and fitness.  I am not sure what my coach is planning for me to do the weekend of April 18-20, since Boston was postponed and my backup options were also postponed or canceled, but at some point, I would switch back to base run training (i.e. focusing on the 5k-10k distance for running), whether it's after I do a time trial of some sort/distance the weekend of April 18-20 or just switch back to base training at some point I don't know the answer to that and will just trust my coach on what the best plan and approach is.  No matter what, I am very confident the fitness I have gained in the current training cycle will pay big dividends in a fall marathon when life gets back to normal and we have a new-found appreciation of normalcy in our everyday lives.

What would your advice be to those that are finding a new way to be motivated with solo training?

I would encourage folks who are either new or not fans of solo training to focus on enjoying the outdoors for solo runs, checking out new routes, and just enjoying the beautiful scenery one can see outside, especially now that we are getting more into warmer spring weather.  An outdoor run, bike ride, open-water lake swim (wearing a SwimSafe buoy for your protection), walk, or hike right now are the best ways for us to enjoy the outdoors outside of our houses and yards, given the current way of life we are having to abide by with keeping social distance, so I would use solo outdoor exercise right now as a way to break the cabin fever of being indoors.  I would also recommend following the social media of your favorite stores, gyms, and run clubs to see what kind of fun virtual challenges they post that can add an extra element of fun into your training.