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Covid-19, Runners and Running

by Tanya Agarwal

Hey Runner!!!! How You Doin’????? It’s not the spouse, not the ‘unwell-up-all-night’ kids, not the deadline obsessed boss and it’s not even a bloody injury – NO! It’s none of them! It’s the pandemic by the name of Corona Virus that hit our world in 2020 and has the whole world lockdowned!!!!! World Major Marathons have been cancelled, hopes have dashed and runners have been left roadless! The World Health Organisation has concluded that the need of the hour is to stay socially distanced, each human to maintain a gap of minimum of 1 meter from every other human being. We need to reduce the risk of being carriers of this infection and hence it’s best to stay put!

Well, it is something to tell a Runner to STAY PUT! Runners around the world have adopted different strategies during this lockdown! India is under a 3 week national lockdown. Runners have still not come to terms with not running even during a declared pandemic! I have with me a few amateur die-hard runners here telling us about how Running will never be the same for them after the planet has gotten rid of this life changing chaos! As for me – I love running, unconditionally – now and forever ( sorry, but not sorry for the senti much 🙂

Kavita Rajith Nair

Kavita Rajith Nair. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“After this lockdown, running will never be the same for me . Freedom is something we have all taken for granted. Freedom to wake up when we want or stay up late outside irrespective of the late nights, step out when we want, go for a run, go cycling, head out on long drives to any destination, eat in a restaurant, party at a pub, even the most routine element of going grocery shopping – everything, we took it for granted; as we thought we were entitled for all of it. But the fact is, one small virus – COVID19, has shown us our place and I am pretty sure I can speak for everyone, that we all appreciate the little things much more and we can differentiate between our needs vs wants clearly… This period has jolted and kind of paused our lives in different ways. To me: it’s my runs in those long stretch of empty roads in the wee hours that I miss the most… the joy of tightening that shoe lace at 5am and heading out for the run is unexplainable and irreplaceable… A few days back I did mention in one of my posts on Instagram titling ‘things we take for granted, gets taken!’ And that makes me realize that once all this is over, running WILL NEVER BE THE SAME ANYMORE for me. I cannot articulate how will it change me, but one thing for sure is, ‘ If I am able to run freely, I am definitely a privileged one – and I will not take it for granted!”

Meenal Bishnoi

Meenal Bishnoi. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“For those of us with a passion for the outdoors, whose Sunday mornings were all about pounding the pavements, the enforced distance from the roads has only made the heart grow fonder. After the restrictions are lifted and things crawl back to normal, I will be on the familiar tarmac at the first opportunity with solitude as my favoured companion ( perhaps a mask as well. There would, however, be a deep sense of gratitude for the freedom that I, like so many others of my ilk, have always taken for granted. Of course, it is possible to survive without running, but that is only “existing”…letting life happen to you. I’d rather be “living”…and happen to life.”

Sunil Shetty

Sunil Shetty. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“Honestly for me, running won’t be very different after the lockdown is lifted. I am keeping myself active and fit in these days with my workouts. So once I start running outdoors again, I may need a week or two to get back to my original. What could change is the hygiene part, which most of us runners don’t care much. I will avoid consuming water/energy drinks served in reusable glasses. Will also avoid eating with sweaty/unwashed hands. Except this nothing will change for me.”

Ankush Mendiratta

Ankush Mendiratta. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“Running has always been my poison and I actually have lived on it…..its fodder for me….gives me an ultimate high which no other  workout does ! I am running indoors and people tell me I will get injured and my answer is – have you tried it ? Maybe that’s the way forward…?? We got to change with the changing times….the coaches I hear are saying …running indoors …NO !! …But my question to them is have you tried it ?…is there a science behind it that says so…if yes…then don’t us runners anyhow get injured ?
Simple — we need to change with the times ! Indoors or outdoors …ultimately I am running ! A different pace…a different style….but it’s the calling of the hour and if I can I will !! I already see online indoor events…marathons…happening at some point of time….why ..what’ wrong ? Yes,…one needs  a little support of people at home…but people at home(better half and my son) have understood me over the last 12 years…they know the inspired idiot in me when it comes to running….they are now used to see me running all over the house for hours…I just keep my distance…but that’s some of the rules of the game !! My 12 year son does join me too sometimes for a part of my run..(usually 5 K).

I feel indoor running during the lockdown has given me a new lease of life …I feel on top of the ball now…feel like an achiever…feel positive irrespective of what is happening around us. I have run 16k maximum indoors so far and I think I am sorted with life for the time being…If God gives me another day to run outside…well that would be an icing on the cake !!”

Bijay Nair

Bijay Nair. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“As I gaze through my balcony post a small 5k indoors from living room to bedroom to kitchen to living room i wonder about the beautiful times when i would run freely on road. No one to hinder ; no one to bother . On the first day of lockout ; fb grp where we post our run was not the same; few guys ran out and the moment they posted about run they were trolled for not adhering to rule set . The reason being corona won’t differentiate whether you are a normal person or a super marathoner. Few people had posted about indoor runs but were not clear in their post; they too were trolled. I had put up a humor post on how some people will take advantage of corona and they will have corona linked events. Though all of them got the essence ; there was one person who abused me on that post. I am a person who doesn’t bother much ; but that day I showed him what a fauji is and cuss words come to us easily if we want . But this incident put me back in terms of posting my workout . I couldd see staying indoors has somewhere affected us . Frankly ; I don’t enjoy indoor runs . Though had done 3 to 4 runs inside but all of us belong to road . When I run post this lockdown period I will value my runs more; value my run at new places much more; value my running buddies more; the real joy of running which we read and talk is what we are missing now. Am sure the real joy of running will be experienced in each of our runs ; whether a good run or a bad run . By the way ; since I have a indoor cycle trainer ; I have found a new love ….cycling . Am sure I will be more of a triathlon-er than a runner henceforth.”

Kavitha Reddy

Kavitha Reddy. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“Me at this point of time not thinking about running. As I fear I will not be able to run in my earlier potential… . But on the other side, I am trying to focus on my weekness and flexibility and working on that to keep some mobilty and strength of the core. 
I will be loving running more as I know what’s life without it is.. so Definitely will not take this sport granted.”

Sangeeta Saikia

Sangeeta Saikia. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“Running is the one thing that peps me up no matter what. It doesn’t matter whether I am running long, short, fast or slow. Now with Covid 19 taking over the world and the subsequent lockdowm in force, I find myself deprived of running the way I want to ..free and to feel free!

Running has been my go to thing for over a decade now and post lockdown I am going to be so much more thankful for having made this a habit of sorts. That I am able bodied and capable of running is something I will not take for granted ever again. That anything other than an injury or a losing battle with my own demons could stop me from running outdoors was not something that had ever crossed my mind. But here I am now, not running outdoors, because I am not allowed to. Running is like my religion and I am going to be so much more of a devout follower of my religion post lockdown! Because frankly, I miss nothing as much as I miss running outdoors! Running to me is going to mean more of all things good post lockdown. It will top my list of “best life practices “ forever more!!”

Ajit Rajani Pathak

Ajit Rajani Pathak. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“I have been an avid road runner for last 6 years now, and with the lockdown many things have changed for me like Working from Home to Workout from Home, then why not Runing In-House, and I am loving the new challenge and new change.

Running is Healer for me, running has help me to cure from prolonged epilepsy , which I lived for 20+ years. I can’t quit running, so In lockdown phase we can’t go out and run, we still can run in-house . I have got negative comments from some professionals runners on running in house. I kept telling them it a new way of lifestyle… Covid has changed the way we live, shop, travel, work.. so this is a new way… in running there is no right or wrong all are theory’s. Only there are basics ground rules and best practices.. in many countries Runners are running 50 kms to 100 kms distance in-house. When I started training 5 years back people asked me is running safe especially running on road and mid age women.. I told them it is safe as long as you follow Running discipline. I say the same about in-door running. It is a new way of running for now, do it with caution like you do on the road. We will learn, we will adapt and when the road is open again – we will all see each other on the road.”

Tarun Walecha

Tarun Walecha. Running During Covid-19. Wellthyfit.com
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“Life after the lockdown ends won’t be the same. Running won’t be an exception either. While we all may grapple a while with physical aspects of getting back to routine and rhythm, for me it may take a while to put aside the health concern and it’s vulnerability. I think I may become more concerned, more senstive and perhaps a bit hyper about my surroundings. And it won’t just be about me getting affected by them but more about how I would leave it all behind for others. This period is certainly making me more concious, aware and responsible than ever.”

Oh and before, I end this blog, the Runner Gods have a message for us all:

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Tanya Agarwal is Founder and Blogger at WellthyFit - a health and fitness blog on Yoga, Running, Healthy Living, Nutrition, Travel, Joy and everything Life! She reviews fitness products and experiences. WellthyFit is her platform where she invites passionate fitness writers to share their expertise. With her blogs and fun videos she motivates people to stay the course of health and fitness day after Day.

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3 comments

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Vijay Gaikwad ( Boxer , Ultra runner , ultra cyclist . ) co-founder of Fitnesss first and VRUKSHATHON Half Marathon April 9, 2020 - 11:28 pm

Nice work , i heard about you lots of time we are friends on Facebook. My best wishes with you keep doing .

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Ashish Kaul April 10, 2020 - 6:00 pm

Nice read !! Good to hear everyone’s perspective on the pre & post pandemic run scenario . Quite motivating to see the resolve with so many runners As a triathlete, I would say that once you are passionate about something, you will just get back to normal with that element of gratitude for what we have …… freedom on the road !! Life goes on

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Mukund April 11, 2020 - 7:36 am

Great to read that all of us are adhering to the lockdown. It’s a time for us to strengthen bonds with family and friends while strengthening muscles to get back when we are allowed to. I read this wonder full saying – in the rush to get back to normal use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to…….

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