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Running During a Pandemic (Tips and Tools to Keep You Motivated)

There’s no doubt the pandemic affected everyone in different ways. Now, even with states slowly getting back to normal, some things haven’t changed at all; for example, closed gyms.

Various cities have seen a significant increase in the number of runners, bikers, and those walking outdoors for this very reason. Staying healthy is one way to protect yourself from the virus and going outside for these free and doable exercises can help most people cope.

Hence, whether you are an avid runner or a beginner trying to develop a healthy routine, there are questions to be answered on how to run safely during the pandemic. Dive into the answers below.

Remember the rules

The rules of staying protected during the pandemic are quite simple, though they may deprive you of some things you like doing. One rule is maintaining social distancing. According to the CDC, you can observe social distancing by staying up to 6 feet apart from people. When it comes to running, it’s safe to say that 6 feet might be too small.

When you run or engage in any similar demanding activity, you breathe faster than when you are doing something less strenuous like sitting or standing. This, in turn, means you are breathing harder and releasing respiratory droplets in greater quantities and at a farther distance than others sitting or standing.

Experts suggest that runners keep their distance from others up to 10 feet.

It’s also critical not to forget another obvious rule – run alone.

Know where you are going

At this rate, the pandemic might have runners exceeding the processing speed of a computer – just kidding. However, to keep yourself and others safe while running during the pandemic, you would need to know where you are going. First, choose routes or paths with the least foot traffic or no crowds at all. As you run, focus on your path ahead to avoid getting close to others. Be prepared to yell or signal your presence and which direction you’ll be running when you encounter others on your path.

Wearing a mask

Chances are you’ve likely seen a runner or two with their masks on while they run. The question of if it’s safe to wear a mask or not during your run is a common one. Wearing a mask is aimed at protecting you and others from the spread of COVID19. The covering helps to keep your droplets in and any droplets in the air out. But running requires oxygen – enough oxygen – and your life-saving face-covering might do more harm than good. So, you can have your mask on you but run without it for air, which should work fine when you run solo and avoid others. If you encounter people on the other hand, by all means, wear your dry, clean, and breathable mask.

Other things to note

Keep in touch with your running group even though you can’t run in groups as before. Wash your hands after your run and exercise caution when touching any surfaces outdoors. Know that coronavirus cannot be spread through sweat. Focus on staying healthy rather than fit by avoiding long, intense runs.

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