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Running safety tips

Many people are using running trails to exercise during this time. Extra precautions are recommended while running outdoors.

Posted: Apr 5, 2020 5:45 PM
Updated: Apr 5, 2020 5:50 PM

EUGENE, Ore. --With stay-at-home orders in place many people are struggling to stay active. With running still an option there are many safety precautions recommended by medical and sports health professionals.

"I think six feet is a minimum distance based on the volume of droplets and aerosols that are being breathed in and out," Dr. Andrew Gilchrist of Direct Primary Care of Eugene said.

Gilchrist, a former collegiate runner, says social distancing is something to keep in mind when going out for a run.

The CDC recommends to wear masks while out in public. Medical and sports health professionals also say it doesn't hurt to wear some sort of protective face gear while on a run.

"For instance the Amazon Headwaters trail is one that seems to get a lot of people than the Ridgeline trails," Christopher Minson, Co-Director of Exercise and Environmental Physiology Labs at the University of Oregon said. "If you're going to be on there it's a good idea to wear at least a mask to stop the expression of the aeration of the virus."

Nike sells face covers specific for exercising on its website. Minson suggests doing a run-walk combo if its difficult to breath while running with a mask. 

"I think someone can adapt to that as long as they monitor their intensity and how hard they're running to start," Minson said.

Minson also said running in moderation may help those who are running more than usual during this time.

With schools and gyms closed there are also no tracks or treadmills to run on. Aside from running trails, that leaves many people with the option to run on concrete or asphalt. These are harder surfaces which can be more strenuous on the body.

A good running shoe is also important.

"We have Gortex shoes," Eugene Running Company owner Bob Coll said. "They're very popular in the winter months in Eugene just to help keep you a little more comfortable when you're out there. Just make sure you have a high-quality sock that's wicking moisture away from your foot."

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