In light of the current public health crisis, you may be feeling a little down, a bit stressed, and a lot unmotivated.

Now is a good time to figure out why you run. If it’s for the joy and health benefits, nothing really changes.

If your next race is cancelled, that doesn’t mean that your fitness got cancelled! You’re still in shape — it’s just a question of how you can use that fitness.  Here are some possibilities — and remember, please always follow national and local health advisories.

If you can get outside for a run, that’s great. There is compelling evidence that exercise keeps you healthy. And the great thing about running is, even if a group run is more fun, you can continue to reap all the benefits by running solo.

Pretend you’re an Olympian.  Olympic athletes take the long view — and you can too.  You’ve built up your fitness, now cycle down and build it up again.

Go Back to Base. This is a great time to cycle into a phase of Base Training.  Easy conversational pace running has proven mental health benefits and proven cardiorespiratory benefit, so perhaps spend this time doing easy running at a low heart rate.

Remember in contrast to training for peak performance, the goal in this phase is to be moderate.  In this public health crisis, you want to provide time for rest and recovery so that you are not feeling lethargic.

When running alone or training in groups, please continue to take all possible precautions and please be a good health steward.  Assuming that you will follow the overarching CDC advice and drawing on public health advisories, RRCA recommends some basic best practices: 

  • Practice social distancing – ensure appropriate spacing between runners; the current recommendation is at least six feet of separation.
  • Avoid close-group selfies.
  • Stay at home are feeling ill or have flu-like symptoms.
  • Carry your own fluids and don’t share.
  • Don’t share towels, food, gels, or any other item that runners normally share freely.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching anything – especially a port-a-john or restroom. 
  • Do not spit or launch a snot rocket in public – bring along tissues or a small towel or a good old-fashioned hanky.

Excerpts from the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and Randy & Tia Accetta, RRCA Certified Running Coaches in Tuscon, AZ.

Additional Resources

City of Lakeland Coronavirus Updates

Florida Department of Health

Florida DOH dedicated COVID19 page

Full article on Advice for RRCA Members, Running Coaches, and Club Leaders

Club Activities Status Update

Suspended while schools are closed – Monday Night Track and Kids Run Club

Cancelled – March member meeting

Watch for Updates – Pack Runs, Thursday Hill Run and Spring Ahead 5k Training

Running through the coronavirus outbreak — the latest recommendations