As our country prepares to ease into the new normal, there are a lot of questions being asked about what the new normal is really going to be like. For those of us who run, it’s important to know if we can go back to what it used to be like earlier. Can we run in groups again? Will we be able to train for running events? How will the next running event look like?
Yes, we are slowly getting back to our regular lives but the threat of the pandemic is still looming large. While there are still many things that we do not know about how the Coronavirus spreads, experts consider the risk to be lower in outdoor settings while practising safe social distancing.
Here’s what you have to keep in mind for all your training and runs from now on:
If you are running outside, it’s probably okay to team up with a close friend or someone whom you trust as long as you remember to avoid physical contact. It’s key to be able to trust your training partner, inform each other if you feel that there’s some risk of being exposed or of asymptomatic spreading.
Right now it’s still best to run by yourself or maybe with one or two people whom you trust. If you have been running in a small group over the past few months, then you can continue doing the same provided you inform each other of your health conditions and social interactions and maintain safe social distancing.
While running in a group, make sure that you are far apart from each other, and run with the mask on, if possible. But there is a possibility of the mask messing up your breathing and some experts do not recommend the masks due to fear of developing jogger’s lungs. There have been a lot of cases where runners have collapsed because the masks interfered with their breathing. The ideal solution is to run in an open space with a lot of physical distancing if you wish to run without a mask.
The asymptomatic spread is still a concern. This means that you may be able to spread the virus to others without knowing that you have it, or vice versa. Which is why it is still best to run alone or with a very small group of people whom you trust.
Do not hug each other, do not high five, do not share water bottles, drive in separate cars to your running location and avoid hanging around chatting in close proximity once the run is over.
Things to consider before running with a partner or in a small group;
- Are there any restrictions on gatherings in your area?
- Are cases in your community increasing or decreasing?
- Is the community spread low?
- Are you feeling well?
- Is your running partner in good health? Will they stay home or let you know if they don’t feel good?
- Are you running in an open area where you can spread out and not come in contact with too many people?
- Can you trust your training partners to tell you all about the social interactions in the last 10 days?
- Are you running with anyone who is immunocompromised?
Overall it’s still better to continue running alone or with a couple of people whom you trust, but as you slowly resume normal life make sure you take enough precautions and follow all safety measures.