University of Nottingham researchers are still inviting parkrunners of all levels to take part in a study examining how their running habits 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.
In March this year parkrunners were invited to share their training data, so researchers can examine any changes in running habits associated with the COVID-19 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 have collected is helping us to understand the impact of the pandemic on the running communities. parkrun was paused for over a year, and we all missed the weekly opportunity to meet friends and be encouraged as we complete our 5k walks, jogs, runs or volunteers. We are very grateful to parkrun for its support, and to the over 4,000 participants who are already taking part in our study. The lack of a regular racing season provided us with a unique opportunity to investigate patterns of injuries in runners, which is difficult in normal circumstances.”
Now restrictions are lifting, and parkrun has resumed, the team is repeating their request for runners, joggers and Nordic walkers who may not have enrolled in March or who weren’t active then for whatever reason, to join the study. The team hope to use this collected data 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 is monitoring 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 is using 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 continuing to look 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/
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