COVID-19 is affecting all our lives. Through changes to our working, family or social circumstances, the current pandemic is having a great effect on our mental and physical health. It is also anticipated that many keen adult runners in the general population will be affected either by contracting COVID-19 or through a significant change in their running activities.
Through inviting members of the running community to share their training data, researchers at the University of Nottingham hope to examine changes in running habits associated with the current restrictions.
Understanding of the relationship between COVID-19 and other common viral infections, changes in the running activities and early symptoms of poor recovery is needed to help understand the impact of the pandemic on the running communities. If found to be beneficial, running could then also be prescribed to the wider population.
The lack of a regular racing season will also provide a unique opportunity to investigate patterns of injuries in runners. Currently, it is not clear what training regime changes are linked with an increased risk of injury. Some suggest that changes of running intensity rather the weekly distance, as well as common viral infections, have strong links to injury.
The Running Through research team aims to use data provided by the running community to enable the production of data-based recommendations regarding training load, intensity or infection recovery.
Finally, many previously active adults who have tested positive for COVID-19 have reported experiencing prolonged tiredness, alongside cardiac or respiratory symptoms during the recovery period. This is often described as ‘Long COVID’.
Running Through will monitor runners return to training following recovery from COVID-19 and the impact on subsequent physical activity, training performance and cardiorespiratory complications.
The research team aims to identify characteristics of those runners who are at higher risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 infection, developing common injuries and subsequently poor recovery after the infection.