Running in times of coronavirus What should I know?

Physical and sports activities have undergone a radical change as a result of the appearance of Covid-19. If during the confinement some of them threw themselves into online sports, others were unable to perform a physical exercise of any kind locked in their homes.

Now, with the pandemic still present, sports facilities of all kinds have radically changed their rules of use, reducing capacity, requiring masks, and even eliminating certain activities.

In addition, given the research that shows the fundamental role that aerosols have in the spread of SARS-COV2, many have chosen to start sports activities on their own and always outdoors. Running is one of them.

It is true that for many it was already a common practice, but there are others who have introduced it as a daily routine as a result of the onset of the pandemic, to replace exercise in closed spaces.

For these, for the most ‘novices’, it is convenient to refer to some preparation guidelines that they must follow before starting to run to avoid injuries or any physical condition.

A correct preparation for sports must consist of three phases: the warm-up, the activity time, and the cool-down-stretching.

The gradual preparation of the muscles that are carried out during the warm-up is essential for the prevention of injuries. In addition, it manages to accelerate our heart rate progressively, which is quite healthy. We should dedicate 5 to 10 minutes to this phase.

With the body already prepared, we will begin the exercise session of more intensity, with a duration of between 20 and 30 minutes.

After this time, it is time to gradually calm the heart rate and muscle tension, with increasingly gentle exercises and slower breaths. It is time to perform muscle stretching, with special emphasis on the areas that we have worked on the most during our training session.

The big question, should I wear a mask while running?

According to the regulations of the Ministry of Health, a mask is not necessary for sports if it is done outdoors. Of course, it is always necessary to maintain a safety distance of at least 2 meters.

Despite not being essential, if we choose to run with it it is important to take into account several aspects. As explained by the Spanish Society of Sports Medicine (SEMED), it has been argued during these months that the use of masks in sports could be detrimental to health and reduce sports performance.

Regarding the first issue, scientific evidence indicates that the use of surgical masks does not have any effect that harms health. As for whether the use of these protections affects athletic performance, as with other aspects of Covid-19, there are still no conclusive studies.

So, if we decide to start running during the pandemic, in addition to an adequate warm-up, it is best to follow the recommendations of the General Council for Physical and Sports Education.

– When you run, make sure you keep a sufficiently wide distance from other pedestrians. Although the Ministry of Health indicates a separation of at least 2 meters, in the absence of wind and walking fast the distance should be at least 5 meters, and running we should extend it to a minimum of 10 meters.
– If you are going to overtake someone, do so making sure you are at a sufficient distance.
– Avoid crowded places.
– If you use a mask make sure it is approved and does not have a valve. You should use a new one for each session and discard it at the end.
– Avoid expectorating on roads or public spaces. Take a handkerchief with you if you think you will need it.
– Always carry a bottle to hydrate yourself.
– And when you get home, it is best to clean all the objects that you have taken to the street.

In this way, we will be sure of being protected against the coronavirus and we will be able to get the maximum benefit from sports practice, avoiding injuries and improving the quality of our body both at a cardiovascular level, as well as muscles and joints.