Running During Coronavirus: 8 Tips to Stay Safe!

Coach Casey · April 6, 2020

For runners, in our current health environment, it’s difficult to come up with the best, safest plan for running during coronavirus. It’s the ultimate dilemma to weigh the risks of going outside against the benefits of getting out for your run. With gyms closed and treadmill access possibly non-existent, getting in your run for fitness AND personal sanity requires the risk of setting foot outside. The coronavirus pandemic does not require a complete and utter halt of your exercise goals. However, it does require additional caution, planning, and thoughtfulness as you venture out for your daily runs and workouts.

In order to help you stay safe, stay active, and stay sane during these hard times, here are a few easy tips on how to keep your training going while protecting yourself, and others, from unnecessary health risks. Running during coronavirus is possible! If we at Charge can do it, you can too! 

Training alone and in an unpopulated area is the safest approach during coronavirus.
Man training alone along a canal

Tips for Staying Safe & Active Outside During Coronavirus:

1. Be Aware!

Now is no time to drown out noise or try to escape from your surroundings. If you’re using headphone, be sure to keep the volume low. You need to maintain your high-level awareness throughout your run. Keeping your senses alert will help you avoid getting too close to people or ending up unintentionally in large groups. There may be fewer cars on the road and less people biking, running, walking, and skating about, but you should still aim to be the most mindful and conscientious person out there! 

2. Pick less common running routes, venture out a bit

Every runner has a favorite route, park, trail, etc. Time to leave those behind! For the sake of our neighbors and community it’s important that all of us make small sacrifices to convenience in order to beat this thing! Say goodbye to the common route (yes I’m talking to you, people still running on the 606 in Chicago!), and say “Hello!” to the unbeaten path. They may not be the prettiest or most engaging places to run, but safety comes first. Find a less-crowded, less common running route and get to work. It’s worth a bit of a drive out of your comfort zone to be safe and secure.

3. Run early in the morning or later in the evening

Plan your runs around times of the day when people in your community are LEAST likely to also be getting outside for some fresh air. All of the folks working at home are likely to take sanity breaks around lunch or right before dinner time. Work around those larger groups by running early in the morning or after dinner (daylight dependent). It takes a bit of thinking ahead but try to embrace crack-o’-dawn or night-owl running approach for the time being!  

Choosing to run in the early morning or evening helps avoid crowds.
Man running alone at sun set

4. Be okay with slightly diminished quality OR quantity

Running routes and areas are going to be limited. Your running partners are no longer able to push you along. You’re limited in how long you be outside for. All of these things may have a negative effect on the quantity and/or quality of your running. That’s okay! Any running is good running! As much as maintaining your physical development, a run outside, no matter the length or intensity, is going to have a profoundly positive mental and emotional effect on you during these hard times. 

5. Join a virtual running community

No, you should not run in groups. Running during coronavirus is a solitary activity. Training solo is best but, at a maximum your group should be 2 people (that other person being a partner, family member, or someone who lives with you). Now is the perfect time for a virtual training community. Running together while staying FAR apart. Charge Running of course fulfills this need in full! Stay motivated and engaged with solo runners around the world looking for that exact same group training experience during isolated times!

6. Know your community rules/regulations

Read up on your city and state rules and regulations within you “Shelter in Place” orders. Are public parks open and accessible? Are there time limitations for being outdoors? What types of outdoor activities are allowed? All of these questions and more are essential to know the answers to in order to be sure that you are safe, and you’re keeping your community safe while running outside.

7. Wear gloves, use your elbows…safety first!

While the CDC recently recommended that all individuals wear a mask or cloth face coverings while outside, health professionals do note that they should not be worn while “wet or damp with mucus.” Now this is not to say that runners should all together avoid a face covering, but when running in areas with no human encounters, they are not essential as long as you are strictly following safe social distancing measures. However, in a mask or not, gloves are ALWAYS a good idea and using your elbow to hit traffic buttons, lean against something, or really touch anything outside of your body is smart and safe call.

8. Wash it all!

Once safe and sound back in your home, it’s time to wash it all! Wash your hands right away (20sec minimum) and then be sure to take all of your running garments (gloves especially) and toss them in the hamper to be washed. You can even go as far as to isolate/quarantine your running shoes outside and separate from the rest of your shoes/clothes. Always better to be safe and do more laundry than to be sorry!

Don’t sacrifice your running during coronavirus! Sign up for Charge Running today and join a virtual running community of runners from around the world. All the professional coaching and motivation you need without having to be within 6′ of anyone!

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