Running dos and don’ts during spring 2020

Between working from home and barely leaving the house, the state of the world we live in has thrown our daily lives into a tailspin. If you run or walk daily, your running dos and don’ts probably look different than just weeks ago.

Who you run with, where you run and at what time your run are things to consider in your list of safety precautions.

Although most races scheduled to take place this spring have been postponed or canceled, many runners still want to get outside for their daily workouts. For many of us, it’s the only time we go outside all day.

While health officials enforcing the current guidelines have said exercising outdoors is safe, there are certain precautions you should take to keep yourself and others safe.

Run by yourself

Besides, when I am training for a half marathon, I do this on most occasions. I promise it’s not bad. Taking 30 minutes or more to clear your mind and appreciate nature will prepare you to tackle your day once you get back.

Don’t run in large groups

This goes along with the first one. Health experts are advising people avoid coming into contact with anyone they don’t live with.

So that means you really shouldn’t be meeting up with a single running buddy, let alone a large running group.

Run at off-peak times

In most towns and cities there are places where runners tend to favor. Two places here in Columbia, South Carolina, is Riverfront Park or the Irmo Dam.

It’s hard to allow for “social distancing” when there are lots of people trying to get out for a walk or run at the same time. While you might be tempted to sleep in late just because you can now that you’re home, it’s probably better to stick to traditional early morning hours for running if possible.

Don’t run if you are sick

Normally a little cold wouldn’t matter to me, but these times are different. If you’re at risk of potentially spreading the virus, stay home. You could potentially expose someone who is at high risk or even someone who is completely healthy.

Don’t touch anything on your run

According to the World Health Organization, the jury is still out on how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces but studies suggest it could be anywhere from a few hours to several days. 

Carry your own water bottle or hydration pack rather than relying on public fountains, and avoid touching traffic light buttons to cross the street. Use your sleeve or elbow if you have to.

Avoid touching communal surfaces like water taps and traffic buttons, and be sure to wash your hands as soon as you get home. 

Give yourself plenty of space to distance yourself from others

This one is actually pretty easy, especially if you’re running on wide streets or trails. You can still give your usual running mates a nod or a wave while passing from an appropriate distance, 6 feet.

Am I still running?

Absolutely. I can’t be cooped up inside every day all day.

When I go out for a run, I treat it like an obstacle course. Other people are obstacles. I’m not satisfied with 6 feet. If I see I’m likely to pass another runner or walker, I cross the street or go to the edge of the road to keep plenty of space between me and others. As important as social distancing is, the extra effort seems worth it.

How have you made changes to your routine?

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