Marathon training in the age of Covid-19; a first-time Casper marathoner's blog - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Marathon training in the age of Covid-19; a first-time Casper marathoner’s blog

Indoor Marathon Training, (Courtesy Glenn Januska)

Editor’s Note: Over the course of the next several months, Oil City News will be publishing a special community blog from first-time marathoner Glenn Januska. Glenn is planning to “run with the herd” in the Casper Marathon on Sunday, June 7, 2020. You can follow more of his journey at his blog: 

I’m a fair-weather runner.  I know a lot of people who face the challenge of cold, wind, icy conditions and persevere.  Not me–my goal is to run the distance, not necessarily to add to that challenge.  I’m one of those weird people who doesn’t mind running inside on a treadmill.  I have a job (Airport Director) that is anything but monotonous, so a little bit of monotony isn’t bad.  However, running inside took a different twist this week. 

Nobody likes getting sick, but I’m not worried about getting the coronavirus and getting sick myself…I’m very worried about getting sick and passing it along to my wife.  As I’ve blogged earlier, she had a stem cell transplant five years ago and a heart transplant 1½ years ago, so picture a 5-year-old immune system that is being suppressed and you can understand why.  So, I’m re-thinking running outside and skipping the comfort of the indoors (and proximity to others).  We’ll see.

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So last time I blogged I was ready to be starting my training program, and today I finished week four.  The training has so far been good.  I had previously said that I’m reading and following The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer.  The authors of the training guide began teaching a marathon class at the University of Northern Iowa in 1985.  At the end of the course, the students participated in the Drake Relays Marathon in Des Moines, Iowa.  Due to the popularity of the class, the idea of the book was born. 

The training program only requires running 4 days per week.  That may not seem like a lot of running compared to other training programs, but the goal of the program is to prepare first-time marathoners to finish, and that is my goal, at age 55, to finish.  And the authors have a pretty good success record.  My runs are Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and my long run on Sunday.  Here is what it has looked like so far: 3, 4, 3, and 5 miles week one; 3, 4, 3, and 6 miles week two; 3, 4, 3 (miss), and 7 miles week three; and 3, 4, 3, and 8 miles week four. 

The first three runs of the week are a bit shorter than what I typically run, so not much problem there.  I could have started at longer distances, but my goal is to finish and follow the program exactly, which brings up the miss.  I missed running one day, my wife’s birthday.  I should have run before we went out to dinner, and didn’t run after.  I planned to run the next morning (Friday) before work but was tired, and the same thing that evening.  While accomplishing 15 out of 16 runs may sound good, I need to be better disciplined, particularly as the distances get longer (the next four weeks, Sundays will be 10, 11, 12, and 14 miles).  I had mentioned before that me sticking to the training program was going to be as much an accomplishment as actually running 26.2 miles.  No excuses!

For all the runners, stay safe and healthy.

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email:

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.