How to deal with your trail running or long hike training after COVID19 lockdown?
We wanted this article to be as exhaustive as possible, so if you feel that we have not answered your concerns please do leave a question in the comments section.
Most countries have moved away from total lock down where trail runners, hikers, and all those who loved the outdoors were forced to stay at home. At the time we’re writing this article, there’s still a risk for a second wave and several cities around the globe have started to put in place targeted lockdown requiring self-isolation once again.
The COVID-19 threat is still there. One year back, no one could ever predict the current situation ; and not knowing how long this will last is creating a lot of stress. The more we remain healthy and positive, the easier we will get through this and this is why we started these articles, to help you remain positive, healthy and focused on what you love the most.
A white year ?
Most international sports events have been cancelled and in terms of running activities, we are through a year without competitivity and all excitement that usually surrounds these activities and of course we had to modify our training schedules to adapt to this new world. We know we need to remain fit and healthy, but we also should be careful not to push it too hard after a long period of inactivity, and also to keep our immune system as strong as it can be.
Keeping our immune system strong
Let’s remind ourselves that intense physical exercise weakens our immune system and opens the gate to infections. The ratio between physical exercise and upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) follow a “J” curve relationship as supported by published data (D C Nieman, 1994). While little to no physical activity increases URTI risks, a too high exercise workload skyrocket the URTI rate.
This is why health organisations recommend moderate physical workload during this time of pandemic. Of course a healthy diet is also highly important to keep your immune system strong. Be sure to eat at least five fruits and veggies a day.
As a responsible outdoor enthusiast, especially in countries where COVID-19 cases are still high, it is not advisable to follow a traditional cross fit outdoor training (outdoor running plus MTB for example) which is not only dangerous for ourselves but puts an unnecessary workload on emergency services who are already overloaded. For the same reason, let us avoid going on long hikes or in mountains / forests alone to avoid any risk of injury.
A come back in stages
So then how do we remain fit and ready to go back to the tracks with a strong and healthy body?
Focusing our training on keeping on necessary muscle tone, our joint strength can be a quite simple task. At home we can start our day with a quick session of meditation, empty our mind and spirit of all negativity and increase our frequency. Then we imagine and focus on our goal for the day. What’s our physical goal? Increase overall strength, more muscle tone, protection against injury? First of all we shouldn’t forget that it takes just two weeks of physical inactivity to lose muscle strength (HealhDay News). The more active we are the more strength we lose; young people lose about 30 % of their strength after that relatively short period.
Our recommended training schedule, for those who remained inactive for over two weeks is to start with moderate training three times a week for two weeks, then four to five times a week for another four weeks. This will help regain physical fitness and Including weight training will help recover the lost muscle strength. Having a home trainer bike is great, but an elliptical is good too. During the first days only start with moderate sessions of 15-20 minutes, progressively going back to your previous routine. After cardio, let’s head on to weight training. Those not having free weights at home and don’t have access to a gym can try resistance bands which is a good compromise. Yoga and calisthenics on a gym mat can also help you build your muscle strength.
In this pandemic situation it is even more important to stop being individualistic and focus our energy on helping others wherever we can. We hope this article will help you in building back a healthy and positive routine. Please leave your feedbacks, questions and comments below and tell us if you want us to be back with an article with detailed exercise and trainings. Please also check our new home fitness equipment collection on the online store section of this site.