Rules of the Road – Running during the Corona pandemic

During the global Corona pandemic, other than key workers, we are all in a period of self-isolation to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Currently in the UK, the government advice is that we must stay at home as much as possible but one form of exercise – either a run, walk or cycle per day is OK – so long as we adhere to social distancing (at the time of writing on 27th March 2020).

The top-line advice is we are allowed one solo run per-day whilst maintaining a minimum of 6ft (2m) away from the closest person.Here’s some other top rules & tips that may ensure we get to run whilst not risking the spread of COVID-19 – the more we stick to these the more chance of keeping our right to run

Plan your route. Have a think of a route that’s local but won’t be overly crowded. One way of checking this is by looking at Strava heat maps and avoiding the ‘busy areas’

Be sensible where you run. Choose the routes and terrains that you are familiar with to limit the chance of injury and potential extra strain on the NHS. One idea is to run a series of small loops instead of running one big loop or an ‘out and back’, so that you are never too far away from home if you’re forced to cut your run short.

Stick to the left. Apply some etiquette and keep as close to the left as you can so the on comer can do the same – don’t run in the middle of the path and if you’re passing round someone from behind ‘shout up’ and let them know what you are doing.

Don’t spit! This is, unfortunately, one of those habits but the virus is transmitted through eyes, nose and mouth. The outside temperature is starting to warm up so we will feel more dehydrated when we run so our advice is to drink more water before you run to avoid this.

Relax and enjoy being out. At this unprecedented time, running for anything other than the freedom of being able to will have to wait. There are no events or competitions in the short term so forget splits, heart rates, apps, intensity etc and instead appreciate the simple pleasure of running and your surroundings.

If we all stick together and live by the rules we will get through this and come out stronger at the other end. The long runs, recovery runs and Parkruns will return and this time of reflection may make us appreciate our love for running just that little bit more.