Running in Madrid and Covid-19: A fresh start

As I write this article, we’re starting to see a bit of light at the end of this long tunnel which has made spring practically non-existent in this (to put it mildly) very strange, unforeseen and all too tragic year. Many of us, including myself, have had to re-evaluate when and how we exercise. Homes have been turned into makeshift gyms and those of us who like to go running outdoors and do not have a treadmill at home have had to put our imagination and creativity to work (which is never a bad idea) in all kinds of new ways to make up for this unexpected event that has been brought upon us. For those of us who’ve been running for some time before all of this happened and for those who’ve decided that perhaps now is the time to take up running as a new sport, both groups alike have in common that they are both beginners in this very much new and out of the ordinary moment in time.

 

I’ve been a runner for a good part of my life and because of all the restrictions that have been placed upon us, my natural inclination has been to get out of the house as fast as my feet could carry me and get right back into my old running form like as if nothing ever really happened. This is exactly what we shouldn’t do and in this very short period of lifted limitations, I think time has proven me right. Initially, when lockdown restrictions on walking and running were partially lifted in Madrid, throngs of people hit the streets unbridled (and understandably so) enthusiasm. Inevitably this initial surge of energy, especially among runners, tapered off as overload related injuries started to appear and physical therapy practices began to get crowded.  The purpose of this article is to provide a basic outline of getting back into (or starting) a running routine with a sustainable, safe and easy to follow two-month training plan.

 

A good, tried and true method is to run and walk as you train. Contrary to what you’d think, the walking phase is performed when you’re not tired. The run/walk ratios I’ve provided are mere suggestions and you can either follow them or combine them to what suits you best. Please note that there may be more advanced runners among you who may not be interested in this method and feel like they’re more than capable to do the routine without the walking portion. If that’s your case, go right ahead and do so!

  • Beginner: Run 10-30 seconds. Walk 1-2 minutes. Do for duration of run.
  • Intermediate: Run 1-5 minutes. Walk 1-2 minutes. Do for duration of run.
  • Advanced: Run 6-8 minutes. Walk 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do for duration of run.

 

Now, you may be asking yourself on the amount of days needed to do this, the time involved and, of course, the rest periods. The suggestions are as follows:

  • Do your run or run/walks 3 times a week (try to not do them in a row)
  • Do two of those run or run/walks for 20 to 30 minutes twice a week
  • Do a longer run or run/walk from 40 minutes to 1 hour preferably on the weekend.
  • Do your runs or run/walks at a pace that you can hold a conversation.

 

Regarding your off-days you could do alternative forms of exercise such as resistance training, core exercises and stretching. Most importantly, however, is that it is always of utmost importance that your introduction or return to running should always be based on how you feel. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, take a step back, slow down your pace and/or limit your workload until you feel comfortable with it. Take your time and always remember that haste makes waste!

 

At Madrid Running Tours we’re profoundly saddened by the tragic consequences of COVID-19 but we’re also very confident in that sooner or later things will shape up and be back to normal. All of our running tours http://www.madridrunningtours.com/#tours are now available with proper sanitary, safety and social distancing requirements in place and, of course, our consistently high standards of customer service to all of our runners. We hope to see you running in Madrid very soon!

 

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