By Randy & Tia Accetta (Randy is the RRCA Director of Coaching Education)
RRCA recommends all members, in accordance with current Federal guidelines, to cancel or postpone all events/organized group training runs/group training programs if these activities occur between now and the end of April and beyond based on local and state government regulations.
With regulations and guidelines from governments and health experts regarding COVID-19 constantly evolving, so too are best practices and advice for runners and walkers. Always make sure to consult the latest information from the Coronavirus Federal Task Force (White House, CDC, FEMA at coronavirus.gov) as well as your state and county health agencies before exercising outside. The CDC has a listing of all State Health Departments, which is a quick and easy resource to help you find information for your community.
First and foremost, always draw on expert medical advice from the CDC and from your state and county's public health agencies.
At this writing, the country is in a national state of emergency. The “30-Days to Slow the Spread” guidelines from the White House have been extended to April 30. Know your local mandates, which may provide for stricter limitations for a longer duration. For example, at this writing, the Governor of Virginia (where RRCA is based) issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 30 "to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 until June 10, 2020."
As physician and RRCA coaching course instructor Dr. Bobby Gessler says, “"It is extremely important to protect oneself and other people. This needs to be a community effort with family, extended family, friends, and neighbors all doing their part."
At this time, the RRCA recommends running alone, or only with those you reside with such as children, a significant other, or roommate. If you run with a friend, do so only with one person that you have had regular contact with in recent weeks and respect the 6-8ft spacing recommendations. Keep in mind, running alone also comes with its own set of safety concerns. Make sure to review the RRCA's "General Running Safety Tips" before heading out on a workout on your own.
The RRCA recommends some basic do's and do not's out on the run (assuming that you will also follow the overarching CDC guidelines):
While RRCA is asking that everyone to run alone for a period of time, keep in mind there are a lot of ways that groups can stay connected digitally to help maintain the important connection to community, to help motivate friends, and to help provide a healthy distraction from the news. For example RRCA member club Eastern Shore Running Club has been sharing photo collages of members running solo as a means to stay connected virtually by respecting social distancing needs.