Running during lockdown/s in 2021

Running during lockdown/s in 2020

Jason Pongracic 

2020…what a crazy year it was! With everything COVID has brought us, the disruption in many of our everyday lives has meant that we’ve all had to find new ways to keep ourselves busy. While some (myself included) have spent hours on the couch watching every new show Netflix has to offer, a lot of people have taken up running during lockdown. There are the first timers, the weekend warriors who are now training like athletes and even the seasoned runners who have taken up the challenge of aiming for a personal best.

In my first few months working at the Physiotherapy Centre I have already seen a number of clients who have taken up running for the first time, or have increased their running load, which has resulted in an injury. Injury prevention/management is so important because it allows for consistency in training, which is the best performance enhancer you can get!

I thought I would write a brief blog about my own running journey over lockdown as well as that of my partner, Gina (who in contrast has taken up running for the first time), and take you through our experiences, challenges and tips for staying out on the track and achieving your best.

2020 brought an opportunity for me to work on my longer distance running. My running background is sport-specific to Australian Rules Football, which is explained here Typically, Aussie Rules Football involves more of a focus on interval training or stop/start running (among other things), rarely running constantly for extended periods of time. My goal through lockdown was to build up to running a half marathon (21.1km).

One of the key resources I used was Runnez.   Runnez is an Australian based company but their content can be accessed online worldwide. They offer pre-recorded running sessions that can be played through your phone. It is like having a personal running coach in your pocket, as head-coach Rick coaches/motivates you through the session. They offer a free trial for anyone interested in seeing what they have to offer, you can check them out here:

I would generally do 2 Runnez sessions per week, covering around 6-8km per session. Then on the weekend a longer run, progressively building to the 21.1km. I have now run 3 half marathons this year with a personal best time of 1 hour 42 minutes.

In terms of injury prevention, I made sure I monitored my weekly loading and kept an eye on my Acute:Chronic workload ratio ( I also made sure to maintain 1-2 sessions per week of strength and conditioning, primarily using body weight and resistance bands without access to the gym for most of the year.

In contrast, my partner Gina took up running for the first time over lockdown. She has never run before, but she decided to give it a try, with the eventual goal of running 5km. She used an app called ‘Runkeeper’ which took her through progressive sessions allowing her to gradually build up to 5km.

Injury prevention for Gina was simplified and mainly involved monitoring how she pulled up from runs and modifying her weekly workload accordingly. A simple way to do this is to see how you feel 24 hours or the day after a session. If you are sore, you may have pushed the limit of what your body is ready to tolerate and should be mindful of increasing your load the next session.

Running is such a great form of physical activity with many physical, social and psychological benefits. If you are thinking of taking up running, it may be worth coming into the clinic to allow one of our physiotherapists to perform a screening to identify any issues that may predispose you to injury and to put together a plan/program to avoid injury or overload. Conversely, if you have already taken up running and have any questions or have developed a niggle that is affecting your running our physiotherapists can provide treatment and advice to keep you on track.

If you have any questions about running or a running related injury, please feel free to email me at for advice or schedule an appointment at the centre.

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Call: 01444 450162