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Clubs to resume group training as ‘Phase 2’ starts

The 'new normal' starts today

After months of lockdown, many of Scotland’s running clubs have announced plans to resume group training sessions in some form from today (Monday, 22 June).

The First Minister announced last Thursday (18 June) that the country was ready to move into ‘Phase 2’ of the government’s coronavirus ‘road map’ and further ease restrictions.

Key for Scotland’s club runners is an increase in the permitted number of training and coaching group numbers from members of one other household to members of two.

The change means that up to eight runners from three households will be able to train together from today, provided physical distancing and hygiene measures are followed.

Coaches will have to wait a bit longer to put their runners through their paces on the track, however: outdoor facilities will not be allowed to open until next Monday (29 June).

Unlimited outdoor training continues to be permitted in Phase 2, but no date has yet been given for the resumption of any form of indoor training, the use of indoor space (like changing rooms) or the return of competition. 

To organise and manage the new, smaller, group sessions and ensure their members follow government guidance, many clubs have set up new sections on their websites or ‘members only’ social media pages. 

Others are planning to offer ‘blended’ coaching sessions with a mix of virtual and ‘real world’ running.

Following scottishathletics’ advice, many clubs have also appointed separate ‘COVID Co-Ordinators’ to keep on top of the regulations and plan COVID-compatible sessions.

As in Phase 1, runners must stay 2m apart when running side by side, and 5m apart when running single file. 

Runners are also asked not to travel more than five miles to train – solo or in groups. They should also avoid travelling in the same vehicle as those from different households, avoid public transport and not ‘hang around’ before or after their run.

With the resumption of parkrun in New Zealand announced last week, the move to ‘Phase 2’ in Scotland is another welcome sign that daily running life is slowly moving towards the ‘new normal’ – but ‘high fives’ are still a long way away.

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