As social distancing rules become more prevalent, many of the country’s trails, paths, parks and tracks are closed. The closure of the most obvious running routes, combined with a running boom, has left many Canadians wondering where they can get their miles in while abiding by public health rules. Runners who need their daily run for improved emotional stability but are also looking to stay within the rules have found some creative ways to pound the pavement while keeping to themselves.
For runners who live in the country, finding quiet roads isn’t a big deal, but for city dwellers, running has become a challenge. Here are where creative Canadians are running to keep themselves and others safe and healthy.
Going early or late
Night runs on neighbourhood streets, often after midnight. The preferred Thames Valley Parkway (London, ON) is simply way too busy.
With the absence of races, I've also resorted to targeting Strava segments and planning routes around that. Let's call it fartlek training.
— Scott Clark (@Scott_C86) April 8, 2020
If runners want to stick to their usual routes, or just ensure that they won’t see much foot traffic (or vehicular traffic, for that matter), running really early or late is your best bet. A 5 a.m. start time comes quickly, but at least you’ll be able to run safely and be done for the day before your family wakes up.
I’ve been running a lot at empty quiet @WesternU – just beware of the geese!
— Sara Middleton (@middleton_sj) April 7, 2020
Universities have moved to online courses which means that most campuses are a ghost town. If you live near to college to university campus, take a spin through their empty roads and parking lots. Most campuses are large enough to make a nice two or three kilometre loop, great for a tempo workout.
Running through industrial areas is a great way to avoid crowds and there is very little vehicles right now.
— James Durling (@JamesDurling) April 8, 2020
With Canadians encouraged to stay home, lots of typically full parking lots are empty–especially industrial lots. If you live in a highly populated area, head to the nearest industrial parkway and log your miles there. Basically, the less scenic your route, the less likely you are to break your two-metre bubble.
Hill training in the local casino parkade has been wonderful 🐢
— PattiMerse (@MersePatti) April 9, 2020
This is a funny one, but it makes a lot of sense. Like industrial parking lots, casinos have similarly large lots which means ample space for running.
Treadmill in the basement ☹️ no sure footing in this parts with the snow-rain-freeze-melt season happening. So excited for fresh air!
— Mel Stare, P.Eng. (@Mel_alista) April 8, 2020
The treadmill, once a necessary evil, has become a hot commodity. If you’re a running with access to a treadmill, you’re doing well. You can do all of your training from the safety and comfort of your own home.
For two weeks all I had was my driveway and backyard. pic.twitter.com/IdN7Ttgsnq
— Trevor (@McMTrev) April 8, 2020
The backyard marathon has hit the mainstream. Lots of runners are taking to their solo runs to the backyard and getting their miles done outdoors, but still from home.
Local cemetery – not only very quiet with everyone respecting social distancing but also very profound at this time – we must make peace with death to truly enjoy living pic.twitter.com/0H1DzVPwYj
— audy (@audethy) April 8, 2020
While some Toronto cemeteries aren’t an option anymore, in other places they remain a quiet spot to run. If your local cemetery is open, then check it out for a workout.
Along any route that usually has too much traffic. It’s been good for my StravaHeatMap.
— Tom Wicks (@tomwicks) April 7, 2020
The roads are the best bet for getting mileage in at the moment. Thankfully, traffic is minimal right now, so heading out (especially early in the morning) is a good way to get a solo run done.