Safe Training Tips Presented by Sporting Life

1.    Plan your run. Map out a looped route where there won’t be lots of people to dodge, and either memorize the route, write it down, or make a map.

2.    Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return (or leave a copy of your route on the table).

3.    Carry ID in case of emergency. With that ID, also have the names and phone numbers for two local relatives or friends.

4.    Dress appropriately for the weather. If running in low light, be visible and wear bright-coloured or reflective gear.

5.    Make social distancing a MUST. Run wide if passing someone going either direction. You must be at least 6 feet (or more) away from others.

6.    If you meet friends along the way, no high-fives, no elbow bumps, just distance. If you do stop to chat, keep more than 6 feet apart.

7.    If you feel a sneeze or cough coming on, do so into the bend of your arm so that you don’t spread anything (and don’t upset everyone who sees you do it).

8.    During your run, don’t touch your face—even if you’re sure you never touched anything since leaving home.

9.    Run against traffic if there are no sidewalks.

10.   Stay hydrated! Drink water before you feel thirsty.

11.   Listen to your body. If 10k seemed doable when you first planned your run but you’ve changed your mind partway, turn around and head back (or take walk breaks back as you need them).

12.   When starting off as a new runner, remember that most of your training should be done at a conversational pace; this means that you should be able to talk in complete sentences while running. If that means you have to slow down and take breaks, don’t worry! The old motto is “run slow to run fast.”

13.   Never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%. This will help you avoid injury!

14.   In spite of this crisis, try to enjoy your run, and practice gratitude. It’s okay to acknowledge others as you run; nod your head, smile, wave, say hello from a safe distance

15.   Once back, wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds. Then do your usual post-run routine.


Here are some tips for home exercise to help you prepare for your Sporting Life 10k Virtual Run.

Needed for Home Workouts

  • An open area about 2 metres (6 feet) long and a little over a metre wide on either rug or bare floor
  • Dumbbells (if you don’t have these, try cans of food—whatever size fits in your hand—or small bottles of water; even exercise with food cans is better than nothing!)
  • A watch
  • Stool or raised step
  • Bottle of water
  • Optional: music

Workout & Exercises

Week 1: select three days for workouts. Start with your favorite five exercises from the list below; do five reps of each.

Week 2: add one more exercise to make six. Do a minimum of five reps each—up to ten reps if you can handle it.

Week 3: add one more exercise to make seven. Do a minimum of ten reps each.

Week 4: add one more exercise to make eight. Do a minimum of ten reps each, up to fifteen if feeling good.

Beyond 4 weeks: do any ten exercises, twenty reps of each, twenty-five if feeling good.

Burpees are considered by many to be the best of all body-weight exercises. There are two parts; the first is a push-up. Then, quickly stand up and jump up, raising your arms above your head. Then jump back down for another push-up, and continue. This strengthens the shoulders, arms, core, and quads—plus gives you a cardio boost! The perfect kind of exercise.

Push-ups strengthen the shoulders, arms, and pecs. Keep your hands at chest level, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your gaze on the ground about two feet in front of your head, lower yourself until your chest is about an inch off the ground. Push yourself up to complete the movement. Remember to keep a straight back, with your hips neither lifted nor sagging.

Dumbbell lifts

  1. Curls – keep upper arms at your sides then lift weights in front of you to shoulder height, hold a second, then lower slowly and repeat [strengthens biceps]
  2. Standing shoulder press – press weights straight up above head [strengthens shoulders & arms]
  3. Floor Press – lie down on your back with a weight in both hands. Press weights up over body, hold a second, and then let them down slowly. This strengthens chest muscles.

Bodyweight Squats – stand upright, feet a foot apart, and hinge backwards at the hips, squatting down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor; then stand up. When you squat, inhale, and as you straighten up, exhale. This is good overall exercise.

Calf Raises – holding a weight in each hand at your sides, raise your heels up and hold a second. Drop your heels down and repeat. This strengthens the calves. Another option for these is to stand on stairs facing up with your heels hanging over the edge of the stairs and then raising your heels and dropping them down a bit below the stair you’re on.

Plank – stretch out on floor as if doing a push-up but put your upper weight on your bent forearms instead of your hands. Keep back straight and stomach muscles tight. This is an injury-free way to strengthen the core. If 15 seconds is easy, add 15 seconds to your plank time each day that you do it.

Lateral Weight Raises –hold dumbbells or other weights at your sides and then lift them out from your body until at shoulder height; keep your arms straight through the movement. Let them down slowly, and repeat. This is good for shoulder strength and mobility.

Jumping Lunges – From a neutral stance, take a large step forward, extending until your back knee is almost at the floor. Then, jump into the air and switch your legs, taking care to cushion your landing. keep the knee of your front leg from collapsing inward or falling outward. Repeat. This strengthens the quads and stretches groin and psoas muscles at your hips.

Step-ups – stand in front of stool, place left foot on stool, raise yourself onto the stoop and place both feet on stool, then step back. Repeat. This strengthens the quads and hip flexors.

Stair Climb – climb a flight of stairs, then go back down. Repeat two more times. This strengthens the quads, hip flexors—this is great training for runners.

There are lots of online resources available to stay fit during these strange times. Do some searching and find out the best solutions for you! Lots of runners love yoga and Pilates as a way to stay fit and avoid injury, because these practices strengthen the core, hips, and back—essential muscles for any runner. The good news? You can do most of these routines at home!