Lockdown. Or Locky-D as the ‘cool kids’ are calling it. Social distancing is now the ‘in-thing’.
You don’t need me to remind you that we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Social distancing measures have been put in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19. The current advice in the UK is to stay home and only go out when absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essentials and for one form of exercise per day*.
With gyms closing and swimming pools now out of bounds, the Coronavirus seems to have sprouted a new generation of runners. Lot’s of people have been downloading the Couch to 5k app to benefit from the daily exercise pass the government has allowed us. If you are using your time in lockdown to get fit you can check out my post on how to start running here. Please remember that social distancing rules now apply. Therefore, buddying up and parkrun will have to wait!
If you are heading out for a run, here are my top tips to keep yourself and others safe:
If you are showing any signs of COVID-19 STAY HOME.
This one should be obvious.
Use your ‘Boris Pass’ as a privilege – some countries aren’t that lucky.
Understandably, people want to make the most of that tiny slice of freedom. Once a day means ONCE a day. Embrace your time outdoors, but please don’t be an idiot and think that these rules don’t apply to you. We don’t want you giving us runners a bad rep!
Start and end your run at home.
Remember, non-essential travel is banned, so don’t even think about travelling anywhere for a run, regardless of how pretty the route is. It’ll still be there when the ban is lifted and it will give you something to look forward to! Try to pick a route that avoids passing shops / anywhere where groups of people may be. This may mean turning around halfway or looping around a short distance.
You must only run alone or with someone you live with.
Absolutely no group runs and no club runs. Don’t be arranging to meet Karen from down the street either.
Pass others safely.
Stay at least 2 metres apart from other runners/pedestrians. This may mean crossing the road several times during a run. As runners, we are moving faster, and breathing heavier so please be courteous and move out of the way of pedestrians and dog walkers.
Don’t go crazy.
This isn’t about training – it’s about staying healthy and keeping sane. Now isn’t the time to be heading out for a three-hour run. Longer miles can affect your immune system and we need that to be in tip-top condition right now.
It’s gross at the best of times. Don’t even think about it now. Keep your body fluids to yourself. As for snot-rockets – that’s always been a no in my book.
Avoid touching your face when running.
Same rules apply for handrails, buttons at traffic lights or anything else you might touch along the way. If you’ve got a small bottle of hand sanitiser – perfect. Keep your hands to yourself.
Wash your hands as soon as you get home.
Goes without saying. I’d like to think most people would jump straight in the shower/bath too.
*Guidance correct at the time of this post going live.
Please check the government website for up to date advice. Stay safe.