The coronavirus is currently spreading the globe like wildfire causing uncertainty as it continues to spread. Running events and other large occasions are being postponed and cancelled, lockdowns are in place or imminent and quarantines are rampant. Many of you are concerned about your personal health and how COVID-19 may affect your training.
We have scoured the research, read the articles and listened to the interviews to try and help answer some of your questions. However, we must iterate that this is a situation that is growing at an exponential rate and for the most updated information, you should check verified resources such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Is it safe to run outside?
Absolutely! It is currently safer to be outside (away from large groups), than it is to be anywhere else, within reason. The virus is currently known to spread through water droplets, the most common being when someone coughs or sneezes, the droplets can get onto surfaces or objects that others may touch, and then touch their face.
If you decide to run outside, we recommend solo running.
With that being said, if you are in an area that has mandatory quarantine, or are sick yourself, you should not go out. Instead, if just under quarantine, we suggest doing static exercises at home or using a treadmill to keep fit.
If you are sick or have the flu, do not do this. Rest and recuperate, ‘sweating it out’ is a myth and should not be followed.
Should I avoid group running?
Group running outside and being exposed to the virus is minimal, but possible. The likelihood of someone being sick and wanting to run is slim-to-none, however, a large proportion of positive testing for COVID-19 has shown to be asymptomatic.
If you do go on a group run, or end up on a crowded route while solo running, we highly recommend protecting yourself by spreading out, avoid any unnecessary touching and ensure you wash your hands as soon as you return.
Should I avoid gates, buttons, and doorways?
On your running route, you may encounter objects such as gates and traffic light buttons. The latest information from the CDC, tells us that it does not last very long on surfaces outside, especially any surfaces exposed to sunlight. This information, however, is changing daily as we learn more about the virus.
If you do encounter any of these obstacles along your route, make sure you do not touch your face after using them, or better yet use a running glove, sleeve or elbow.
Can COVID-19 be spread through sweat?
Obviously, those of us that are focusing on personal health at fitness at a time like this, will likely be questioning if the coronavirus can be spread through sweat. As of the time of writing, the coronavirus cannot be spread through sweat.
However, if you are close enough to get someone elses sweat on you, you’re close enough to contract the virus!
Can I not just go to the gym?
Even if your local gym is somehow still operating, we wouldn’t recommend it. Even if the gyms that are open have stated they are taking extra measures to provide hygienic equipment, we recommend checking out what the public health recommendation is.
If you are desperate to work out, why not take the time to increase your at-home workout routine. You can do a lot with resistance bands, weights, skipping ropes and various fitness accessories.
My race hasn’t been cancelled, can I still go?
Although many of the large race events have been cancelled, some of your local 5k’s and 10k’s may still be operating. The general consensus is that, over the next 8-12 weeks, if the race consists of 50 or more people, the event will be cancelled. If it is still running, we would recommend against it.
Right now, your best effort to reduce the spread of the virus is to avoid large crowds. Solo run instead.
Can coronavirus live on my running clothing?
Unfortunately, at this time, there is no definitive answer. The World Health Organisation (WHO), reports that the virus can live anywhere from a few hours up to several days on a surface or object.
If you feel your clothing has been infected with the virus, either through spit or other means, avoid touching the area, your face and change your clothing as soon as possible. Wash it using a hot wash to properly disinfect.
Can I still get my running shoes?
Of course! Alexandra Sports will remain open until the government advise against it. We have a strict policy with regards to the coronavirus and all our staff are under strict instructions to ensure the stores are safe, clean and disinfected on a regular basis.
We can even offer a no contact biomechanical assessment using our high tech fit station and video gait analysis. Alternatively, you can contact us directly or visit our website, and we will be happy to assist you over the phone.
So in conclusion, yes it is absolutely fine to go running and encouraged for your fitness and mental health during these uncertain times. Try and keep to solo running if possible, and if you do choose to group run, ensure you are all at least 6 feet apart.