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5 Ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in social isolation

There won't be any parades or other celebrations, but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun on St. Patricks Day

As Canadians are encouraged to avoid large groups, St. Patrick’s day celebrations have been largely curtailed. That doesn’t mean triathletes can’t come up with ways to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.

Photo: Getty Images

Did you know that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national fesival? (I coach athletes who routinely travel to Buffalo, NY, to race and drink copious quantities of beer every year who will happily attest to that fact.)

This year those athletes won’t be crossing the border for their run, or the beer. Instead we’ll be embarking on a stair workout where I’ll be encouraging everyone to stay a few metres apart, and we most definitely won’t be adjourning to the bar, or even my house, to celebrate with some green beer.

And, yes, it sucks. Thanks to the pandemic, we can’t (or probably shouldn’t, depending on where you live) enjoy many of our normal St. Paddy’s day rituals, including my favourite, a trip to our local Irish pub to celebrate the best green beer day of the year. (OK, probably the only day of the year it’s good to drink green beer …)

All is not lost, though – there’s no reason triathletes can’t use this as a welcome break from the realities the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic has sprung upon us and combine a great workout with a bit of fun.

So here are five suggestions to combine a workout and some green entertainment:

1. Go for a run

Social isolation doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the great outdoors. Even if you’ve just returned from outside the country and are required to be in isolation for the next few weeks, you can still get out for a run. Just make sure you don’t stop to interact with people and keep your distance from them. To mark St. Patrick’s Day in style, make sure to wear something green for the run. And, once you’re done, celebrate your effort with a beer. To truly get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit, find some green food colouring to add to your beer.

2. Go for a bike

While it might be a bit cold for many to head out on the bike, the temperatures are definitely warming and the days are getting longer, so heading out on the bike might also be an option. I used to know I was in for a great spring of training when I could wear my favourite green wool cycling jersey on St. Patrick’s Day – here’s hoping you can enjoy the same in your neck of the woods.

3. Jump on Zwift

If an outdoor ride isn’t an option, you can do an on-line social ride on Zwift. As we noted a few years ago when we wrote about the benefits of the platform, “the social training app drops you into a digital world where you can ride alongside your friends, professionals like Lionel Sanders and riders from around the world.”

Related: 10 reasons to ride with Zwift this winter

4. Watch an Irish movie while riding your bike

If you’re not a Zwift fan, but looking for some entertainment while you’re on your trainer, why not dial in an Irish movie? (Of course you should still be wearing something green for this activity.) I would strongly suggest The Commitments (even though it’s only #16 on this list of “The 21 best Irish Films” that appeared in the Irish Post as compiled by Rotten Tomatoes) or Once (#8 on the list), although The Crying Game (#6) is certainly another classic.

5. Drink green beer

OK, I know I mentioned this at the end of our first suggestion, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with reiterating this oh-so-important St. Patrick’s Day ritual!