University of Nottingham researchers are looking for runners of all levels to take part in a study examining how their running habits have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what impact running could potentially have on the virus itself.
This research is supported by The parkrun Research Board, and here’s how you can take part.
COVID-19 has affected everyone’s lives, and many keen runners in the general population have been affected too, by either contracting COVID-19 or through changes to their running activities due to lockdown or other restrictions that have been in place.
Now parkrunners are being invited to share their training data, so researchers can examine any changes in running habits associated with current restrictions, as part of a new study called Running Through.
Dr Joanne Stocks, Assistant Professor in Sports and Exercise Medicine, is one of the researchers leading the study. She said: “The data we collect will help us to understand the impact of the pandemic on the running communities. parkrun has been paused for almost a year and we have all missed the weekly opportunity to meet friends whilst being motivated and supported to participate in our 5k walks, jogs or runs. The lack of a regular racing season is also providing a unique opportunity to investigate patterns of injuries in runners, which is difficult in normal circumstances.”
The team hopes also to identify what impact running could potentially have on the severity of COVID-19 or whether it aids recovery times. The team will also use the data collected to produce a set of recommendations regarding training load, intensity or infection recovery.
Many adults who have tested positive for COVID-19 have reported experiencing prolonged tiredness, alongside other cardiac or respiratory symptoms, often described as Long Covid. The study will also monitor runners as they return to training following their recovery from COVID-19 and the impact on subsequent activity, training and any health complications.
The team will use the data to identify characteristics of runners who may be at higher risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 infection, developing common injuries and poor recovery after infection.
The team are looking for parkrunners of all ages and abilities, whether you have had COVID-19 or not, and are currently healthy or recovering, to take part in the research, which will involve completing surveys and sharing their training data. The survey is available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese and is open to all runners around the world.
If you are interested in taking part, or to find out more information, visit the website https://runningthrough.org/
Martin Smyth is a parkrunner at both Malahide and Poppintree parkrun, Co. Dublin. At 86 years old, Martin has incredibly completed over 200 parkruns! He first got involved with parkrun after reading about it in the Irish Runner Magazine in 2013 and decided to give it a go. For Martin, parkrun is a great incentive to…
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