Chennai runners prepare for a running training

CHENNAI: In February, when Pan shancu , a therapist in Hangzhou in China, he ran 50 km inside his apartment after a triggered coronavirus emergency shutdown Little did he know that he was setting a trend.

Weeks later, posts by a couple completing a full marathon (42.2 km) on their 20-meter-long Dubai balcony went viral.

In India, since the 21-day emergency shutdown began on March 24 and many began to work from home, the running community came up with ways to keep running.

Chennai resident Dr. Anand is using his terrace and even the living room for his daily runs. I usually get up at 4 in the morning and run from 5k to 10k. On weekends, distances tend to be longer. But now, my deck and living rooms are the only places I can run, says the 52-year-old dermatologist. who is part of the Dream Runners.

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All members of the community keep in touch with each other and motivate others through WhatsApp groups, sharing their daily details of operation. For many runners, it is understandable that the distances they travel have decreased due to space limitations. But runners know it's important to continue the routine to stay in shape, Anand says.

For Logidhas Rajasekaran, running in a confined space comes with its challenges. When you run on a highway or on the beach, you have the luxury of varying your speeds. But that is not the case at the moment, since you have to run slow and steady. Also, when you run inside the house, the amount of oxygen is less compared to what you get outside, says the 46-year-old businessman.

You have already completed some half marathons (21.1 km) in your living room. With nothing to do all day, running keeps me physically active and seeing many of my running buddies follow their routines gives me an air of positivity.

Anand feels it takes great character and willpower to run through such a crisis. If you can maintain your routines in that test time, you can conquer any distance.

For many as a teacher athlete and yoga instructor Sundarambal , the emergency shutdown has meant that the distances she clocked in a week have come down. "I run about 3 times a week and do yoga daily in order to remain fit," says the Canara Bank employee.

Bangalore-based fitness coach Ranjini Gupta believes runners can use the current period to do the right thing. I feel that running with space limitations can put a lot of stress on your body and cause injury. It is the right time for runners to make sure they work on their mobility and develop strength, as they are the basic elements for any sport.