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Covid-19 isolation to running 5 kilometres - how to get started

isolation to running 5 kilometres - how to get started.Written by Lewis Stolz, Physiotherapist

Every crisis brings an opportunity. Even though restrictions are easing, we are still social distancing & exercising in different ways. This may be the time to train your way to that 5km run you've been planning for a while. With perhaps a little more time on our hands at the moment with other restrictions in place or still not having to commute to the office, it's the perfect excuse to get started.

Beginning to run can be a difficult challenge in itself. Here are some essential tips to safely working towards 5km and preventing injury.

· Before you start, ensure your footwear is a comfortable, supportive shoe with good integrity. If they are the same pair of runners you have worn for years to go walking, it’s probably time to upgrade.

· Starting to run is best done with intervals of jogging and walking. This could be intervals of 30 seconds jogging, 1 minute walking. The rest time should match or be greater than the jogging time at this stage. Because running may be new to you, your muscles and tendons etc won’t be used to this. It is essential to allow a gradual introduction to a new movement to prevent injury. Aim to run on flat surfaces, avoid hills and uneven surfaces at this stage.

· Your training volume should feature small gradual increments to allow for adaptations. This means that once you have gotten used to jogging for 30 seconds, you could increase this to 45 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes and so on. You should keep the walking time at 1 minute until you can run continuously without needing to complete intervals. You should aim to complete at least 2, ideally 3 runs per week with a low to moderate intensity to begin with.

· Stretching and strengthening are essential components to preventing running related injuries and improving performance. A strength and conditioning program should aim to increase the length and strength of specific muscles such as your calf muscle groups. This will be most effective before you begin your running program however it can be included at any stage. Strengthening exercises should be completed after running, not before!

· Listen to your body! This is one of the most essential components of preventing injury in any format. With every run that you do, always be aware of any sign of pain that is more than just fatigue. Assess how you’re feeling within the jogging intervals, after each run and the following day. Allow for adequate recovery between runs and intervals.

While we are still allowed outside to exercise, make the most of this opportunity to get running! After all, we all need a break from our desk at some point.

Lewis Stolz is a physiotherapist who runs long distances. Before Covid 19 struck he had been in training for a number of marathon events. Lewis is available for appointments at both our Pilates studio on Union Road and also from our clinic at the Ascot Vale Leisure Centre. For more information about all the services that we are still able to provide please call us on 93728091 or go to

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