Running Safely During COVID-19

Rachel Atherton

As a result of the global pandemic COVID-19, we are currently still in the middle of a government lock down. For many of us this lock down does mean that are we still able to get outside and run – something that i’m sure we are all very grateful for.

For many of us we have seen our normal day to day routines go out the window and our usual running schedules alongside it. It can sometimes be easy to look at this as a negative thing, but on the flip side many of us now have much more free time on our hands and perhaps the opportunity to run at different times of the day, and in different locations.

We have been graced with some warmer drier weather over the past few weeks and this has meant that lots of the off road trail have dried out and become a lot easier and more pleasant (for some!) to run on.

With running group currently suspended and government rules to stay 2 meters apart from people of other households, there will be a lot more people who are out running on their own at the moment. Many people may also be feeling more relaxed about venturing off road and into parks etc but when you are out running, especially solo it’s important to remain vigilant.

There has recently been an incident where a lady was out running in Leeds and a man indecently exposed himself to her. Unfortunately this is not an uncommon situation to occur, but with more people now out running on their own it does purpose more of a risk. Although the nights are lighter and there is potentially more opportunity to run during the day it is still important to take safety into consideration.

Safety considerations

Think about where and when you are running. Are you venturing off paths and into the woods on your own? It is advisable to always stick to the path.

If you are unable to run with someone else at the moment, you could send a quick message to let them know that you are going for a run and what time they should roughly expect you back.

Many people also opt to run with their phone, so you could consider investing in an armband or small bum bag or pouch to store you phone in whilst you run.

Lots of phones are also enabled with a form of ‘tracking’ such as ‘Find my Friend’ on Iphone. So you could always set this up with a friend or family member so that they can see where you are. However please bear in mind that there can sometimes be a few discrepancies with apps like this and satellite signals etc.

Don’t take risks. You might be using this time to increase your mileage or try out a new route. Exploring can be fun but try not to venture too far from home in an unfamiliar location.

Know your limits. If you are new to running or never ran over a certain distance before it’s important to build up gradually and not set out for a 20 mile run having only ever ran 5km before.


Whilst we are still encouraging people to continue running, as ever, safety is paramount.

Safety whilst running is something that is important all the time, not only during lock down. We are still encouraging you to go out and run, but want to highlight some of safety factor that you may have forgotten about.

Stay safe, keep calm and keep running!


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