The joy of six!
Six people can now meet for a run
England Athletics has moved swiftly in response to the Government's easing of Coronavirus lockdown measures by announcing that groups of six runners, or a coach and five athletes, can now train together, provided social distancing is maintained.
This fundamental change to the guidance in England follows the Government's announcement that six people may now meet in the open air from Monday 1 June. Members from different households must still strictly observe social distancing measures and stay two metres apart.
This lends itself perfectly to distance running, provided sensible choices are made regarding the route, time of day, and nature of training. Ideally, a steady distance run in the countryside in the early part of the day or the evening, when there are fewer people about.
The Government has stated on its Coronavirus (Covid-19) website: “The evidence shows that the risk of transmission is significantly lower outdoors and this step will mean that people can see more of their friends, family and loved ones”.
Coaches can also begin to train small groups – of up to five people – subject to following all the existing guidance regarding hygiene regimes, availability of facilities such as athletics tracks, and risk assessments.
It's still early days but there will be joy in many quarters as training partners and friends can reunite for a run and catch up with how they have coped with the extended lockdown period.
Specific advice is contained within England Athletics' STEP2 Guidance for Athletes and Runners, which is available to download from the England Athletics website here.
Despite the challenges presented by the lack of events and limited opportunities to resume organised training due to the Coronavirus pandemic, some 1,300 clubs and 56,000 athletes have already registered this year and there is plenty of hope and enthusiasm for a resumption of competition in some form later this year.
Infographic courtesy England Athletics