Running, a safe haven for athletes in times of covid

In recent months, the ways of practicing sport have changed radically. Since the confinement of March, the popular sportsman, The amateur seeks refuge in those disciplines that meet two main parameters: that they can be practiced outdoors and that they are safe, with a minimum risk of contagion. There is a sport that meets both and that, therefore, in recent months has seen its number of practitioners grow exponentially: running. In Aragon, as well as in the rest of the country, the number of popular runners who have put on shoes in recent months has increased significantly compared to the previous year.

The figure grew especially in May, the month in which the first domiciliary restrictions were lifted, enabling small strips of outdoor exits. In fact, according to data from the Strava app, which measures sports records from amateur and professional users, outdoor activities such as running increased, exceeding 51% estimates for a normal May. “During this year we have constantly added new athletes, it has been a common trend”, explains Greg Vermersch, head of Strava in Spain.

“Much fewer marathons were shared, but the interesting thing is that almost 44% of the marathons uploaded to the application were done alone, and 55% of the athletes have broken their records in 5 kilometers, 10 kilometers and a half marathon (21 , 09 kilometers). That means that they have continued competing“, Add.

In Aragon, this phenomenon of increase in popular corridors also had a resounding peak in the month of May, just when home restrictions were lifted, enabling exits in orderly bands. “When he was allowed to leave the house, the training time slot was very condensed. Everyone went out to play sports at the same time and there were people who started running for the first time just for the satisfaction of doing some sports“, explains Isabel Macías, vice president of the Aragonese Athletics Federation, recently retired from professional athletics.” Of course, not everyone has stayed, “he warns.

One who has maintained her fondness for putting on shoes is Marta López, who started running in mid-May “out of necessity” and now runs “three or four days a week.” “I had been standing at home for too long, during confinement it was very hard not being able to go outside and I had the need to get in shape. As soon as they left us, I put on some old sneakers that I had at home and little by little I have getting a taste “, explains López, who runs around the Parque Grande, one of the most common areas, along with the Ribera del Ebro or the Parque del Agua, where the popular people of Zaragoza congregate.

Something similar happened to Pablo Martín from Huesca. “I had ever gone out for a run, but I have always been more of a sport in the gym. However, now that indoor sport is more uncertain, I have been a running fan for months. The truth is that it hooks“He relates. His colleague Marcos García completes him:” I was also a very sporadic practitioner of running, but now we even get together a couple of times a week to run in small groups of two or three. In my environment, we have the feeling that it is the ideal sport to combine with this pandemic situation“.

In addition to running, another trend of the year has been the increase in users of sports platforms that choose to measure the distances of their walks. “It seems that many people had a need to get out, to take the air. The walks have multiplied by three in a year. It was a surprise for us, “says Vermersch from Strava. With the uncertainty of the gyms still in force, the fans of running in Aragon continue to grow day by day.


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