Pandemic Running FAQs

by megan cahak April 15, 2020 3 min read

Pandemic Running FAQs

Should You Go Running With Friends?

With so much conflicting advice floating around the internet, I decided to gather the most accurate information I could to help give answers to runners most common 'pandemic' questions. 

Is it safe to run outside? 

Of course - but only if you're alone. 

Unless you have complete control over impulsively touching your face or objects, running in a group is not a good idea. 

What if the lead runner coughs or sneezes and those droplets land on your sleeve - the same sleeve you use to wipe the sweat off your brow at the end of the run? 

That gross little sentence alone should make you want to run solo. Remember, social distancing isn't forever - you can do this. 

Instead, take the opportunity to go out on a solo run and enjoy the sounds of nature. Maybe you can finally enjoy some scenery that was previously too crowded with other gawkers to really appreciate. 

Will running in cold weather make me sick? 

No. Running in colder weather won't increase your chance of getting sick. If you live in an area that's still getting snow, it's still safe to run. In fact, getting 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise boosts your immune system and can help keep viruses at bay. 

BUT and that's a big but, if you're in an area with outdoor activity restrictions or are in a mandatory self-quarantine - stay home. There are other ways to keep your fitness tight without the risk. 

Remember, you may not be at high risk, but others in your community are. Stay home for the greater good of the herd, and we'll all be released back into the wild in no time! 

Should you wear a mask out on a solo run? 

No. If you plan to run in an area where you won't encounter another human, you don't have to wear a face covering. 

Alternatively, if you plan on stopping at the grocery store to buy essential items before or after the run, be sure to bring your cloth covering along. To help reduce the spread of the C-word, wearing a cloth face covering while out in public is recommended.

While it may be uncomfortable and slightly obnoxious, wearing a cloth mask could help keep high-risk individuals safe from asymptomatic carriers. 

Can you run outside during a shelter-in-place mandate? 

The hardest part of being an athlete in quarantine is breaking your routine. Pre-pandemic, you might have started your day before the birds, laced up, ran, then headed home to get ready for work. 

Now you might not be able to do that because there are all these rules we need to follow for the greater good. So if you're in an area with a mandatory shelter-in-place, we cannot recommend you try to find a way to get outside. I don't want the CDC to bust down my door. 

We can, however, recommend workouts you can do in your underwear at home. 

Are virtual races the new normal? 

Right now, yes but once things calm down, I promise we will start running together again. That being said, when we opened registration for our viral race, we got an overwhelmingly positive response and hundreds of sign-ups, which prompted me to keep it open. Its obvious to me that I'm not the only one who needs to find a way to support the fight against coronavirus (and keep myself busy). Having something to look forward to or train for right now is a really big deal. We need it. 

So going forward, I'll be grouping runners together based on registration dates. So if you miss the cutoff for an upcoming round because you're not technically allowed to run outside, or were unable to commit to the race, you'll have plenty of opportunities to join us at a later date.

Having businesses shut down and staying at home is hard on us all. Hang in there! 

megan cahak
megan cahak