top of page

Return to Running Post-COVID

Been under the weather but keen to get running again?! Make sure you’re doing it the right way!


Returning to running after COVID-19 (or any flu-like virus) should be done in a gradual and safe manner. Each individual will experience a range of different symptoms and the extent to which your cardiorespiratory system is affected will vary.

The Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians released the ‘Returning to physical activity post-SARS-CoV-2 infection’ Guideline which is attached below. Our advice is based on these guidelines.

The guidelines are based on different risk categories (low, intermediate or high). So knowing where you sit amongst this classification is an important first step. In today’s blog we will be discussing returning to running post-covid for people that fall under the LOW RISK category only. Please seek further medical advice if you could possibly be at an intermediate or high risk before undertaking physical activity.

LOW RISK:

  • Mild or no symptoms

  • Upper respiratory only

  • Younger patient

  • Recreational exercise goals

So, with all of that out of the way, let’s get into the fun stuff!

Stage 1: Get into a good routine

  • 7-10 days post-infection

  • Return to work or school

  • Your normal routine may have gone out of the window when you were unwell

  • Once you are symptom-free it is time to get back into good habits;

    • Going to bed and waking up at the same time

    • Eating at the same times

    • Going to work/uni/school

    • Usual light household chores

    • Eating nutritious food

Stage 2: Start walking

  • Once you’re back to normal scheduling, it’s time to introduce some light exercise!

  • Start with a 10-15 minute easy-paced walk

  • You may feel more fatigued than normal so don’t feel too disheartened, this is normal

  • If the 15 minute walk is feeling comfortable and you’re recovering well, you can start to increase the duration of this walk to 30-40 minutes

Stage 3: Jogging

  • Time to start jogging!

  • 15-20mins will be plenty to start with and just like the walking, see how you feel and then progress the duration

  • Keep it nice and easy, just a light jog, you should be able to hold a conversation at this pace

Stage 4: Running

  • This stage will vary depending on your pre-covid fitness levels

  • Time to up the intensity!

  • We can now gradually build from the light walk/jog towards your usual easy running pace

  • You may want to reduce the duration slightly

  • E.g. 10min easy jog, 15min run at comfortable pace, 10min easy jog

Stage 5: Back to normal

  • Return to pre-covid exercise routine!

  • We’ve slowly built from a walk to a jog, increasing duration first and then adding intensity later


Remember!

  • Take it easy, don’t rush!

  • Pay attention to your body; everyone is different

  • Focus on your recovery, get plenty of good sleep and give yourself enough time between sessions

  • The time frame is not rigid, you may feel fantastic after your first walk and be able to progress over a few days, or you may need longer and it could take you a few weeks to build up to a run.

  • Seek medical attention if required and do not follow these steps unless you are in the low risk category



References:

Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians. “Returning to physical activity post-SARS-CoV-2 infection.” CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC, 2021.

500 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page