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Returning to running post-covid
Returning to running post-covid

If you're unlucky enough to test positive for COVID, make sure to give your body enough time to recover and return to running safely

Aidan avatar
Written by Aidan
Updated over a week ago

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In this article, we're going to walk you through the six steps to give your body a chance to recover and return to running safely. It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to COVID-19, so please use this as a guide.

1. Rest

Allow 7-10 days of proper rest to allow your cardiovascular system to rest and recover. After 10 days, make sure you can go about your daily activities with no breathlessness - check that you can walk for 500m without fatigue.

2. Low-level activity

Start off with 15 minutes of running, working off your Max Heart Rate. You can calculate your maximum heart rate as (220 - your age). E.g., if you were 40 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 180 bpm. During your low-level activity, ensure that you are keeping your heart rate to less than 70% of its maximum

3. Increasing your exercise

A. 30 minutes at 80%

Next, move on to 30 minutes of running, keeping your heart rate below 80% of its maximum. Don't be disheartened if your pace is slow - you need to ease your body and cardiovascular system back into it.

B. 45 minutes at 80%

Progress upwards to 45 minutes of running (or for as long as you can), keeping your heart rate below 80% of its maximum. Make sure you monitor your response to each exercise - if you feel the next day that your HR is higher than normal, or you are feeling fatigued, give yourself an extra days rest before moving onto the next stage

4. Returning to normal

Finally, reach 60 minutes of running (or for as long as you can), at no more than 80% of your maximum heart rate. Ideally, try to achieve this run twice before you go back into your running plan. Ensure you don't try and do too much too soon as this will lead to further fatigue and hinder your progress.

5. Back into your running plan

It is time to return to your Runna Plan but be mindful that you might have lost some fitness so feel free to drop the number of runs per week, or your running ability, from within the Runna app so that your plan can adapt accordingly.

6. Returning to races

We'd recommend starting back from the last week that you didn't fully complete, but if you have a fixed deadline (e.g., a race), chat to us in-app and we can advise you on how best to proceed.

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