And so we find ourselves in the midst of another national lockdown. Running with up to groups of six is no more. Running/exercising outdoors multiple times per day is forbidden. The little bit of group activity and socially distanced racing we did have is on hold once again. So, what are the rules for running during lockdown and what are we allowed to do?
Guidelines for Running During Lockdown
Before I checked the status of schools, remote learning or my own working requirements, I checked if I could run and what that meant. Do I have to run alone, can I meet my training buddy and how far am I allowed to run? Well, I have to say I did breathe a sigh of relief. Largely because there didn’t seem much to say that exercise was limited to one hour a day, only once a day and I was allowed to run with my training partner in my local area.
How Long and Where Can I Run?
For us trail runners that like to clock up the long runs on the weekend, being restricted to just one hour (as was suggested during last year’s lockdown) is a problem. The government website states that exercise is limited to once a day but it doesn’t say for how long or how far from home. I guess using our own sensible judgement is the key here as to whether we are out for an hour, two or more? The guidelines also specify that you shouldn’t exercise outside of your local area. What is your local area? Does that mean you can get in your car and drive ten minutes down the road to find a quieter place to run or should be running from home? Now granted, we shouldn’t be getting in our cars and driving off to local beauty spots to spend time on the popular trails but surely, being in a remote location is far better than running along a busy road.
Discover New Routes
So, what to do… For me, I am very fortunate in that I live next to the popular Butcombe trail (it’s a 56 mile trail) but I can run sections of it within half a mile of my front door. I can go left or right and do some out and backs or a loop of the area. During the last lockdown I discovered a wealth of new routes by following the public footpath signs. When once, I would have saved it for another day, I actually used the time to check them out. I now have lots of routes available to me right on my doorstep during this lockdown. Perhaps there are trails nearby that you can access without having to travel too far?
Driving to the local beauty spots to get on the local trails is out of the question but finding quiet, off the beaten track paths close to home is OK. If you do choose to do this, be sure to tell someone where you are going, to run in daylight and to take a phone. If you are going off exploring, take a friend. You can run with one other person outside of your family or bubble. If you have someone nearby that you can run with, arrange to meet and hit the trails together. Don’t go alone if you don’t have to.
Will Spring Events Go Ahead?
While you may have concerns about not getting in enough mileage, you can try back to backing a few runs to give you similar effects. Perhaps two 10 mile runs on a Saturday and Sunday, if you don’t feel comfortable with 20 miles in one go. If, like us you are training for spring ultra marathon events, the chances of them actually going ahead look unlikely in the current climate. It may be more advisable to remove the pressure and focus on an running an ultra marathon in the autumn instead.
The main thing is to keep running, stay active, make the most of the situation and to enjoy your running.
If you have any comments or questions about any of the above information and running during lockdown, please drop them below. Please note, the information in this article is largely opinion and not absolute fact. Please do check the rules and guidelines that apply to you.
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