Running with a mask during hot weather

Running with a mask during hot weather

Best solution is to slow down your fitness plan

Many of us struggle to wear a mask even while walking, so how does one go out and run with a mask? Yes, we are living in a different world post-COVID 19. Communities across the world are using cloth masks as an additional public health measure to prevent the spread of the virus to those around them. Running with a mask is difficult and uncomfortable especially if the weather is hot. Running is not an easy sport. Remember, it was not easy when you started running in general, but eventually, you became comfortable. Maybe, we will gradually get comfortable running with a mask as well. 

Asics ambassador of the UAE, coach Miguel Fragoso told us some scientific facts about pursuing your running goals during the lockdown. UAE government has currently implemented a curfew from 8 pm to 6 am and is requesting that everyone cover their mouth and nose whenever in public, including when running. Miguel told Story of Fitness told us why the best solution now is to slow down. 

Image of a man running
Coach Miguel Fragoso

Are there any benefits to run with a mask?

No. Covering the entrance of air affects your respiratory system’s function. It will limit your nose and mouth to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Reduced breathing capacity will put more effort into your lungs and diaphragm and your heart have will likely increase because is doing a bigger effort to deliver blood and oxygen to your muscle.

Is running with a mask the same as altitude training?

In altitude there’s less oxygen saturation, so your body produces more hemoglobin and increases red cell volume to adapt. When wearing a cloth mask, a runner is not changing the oxygen saturation of the air they are breathing in, but simply breathing in less of that air. There are no adaptations.

Image of two men talking while wearing mask
Photo by Kate Trifo for Unsplash

Important points to remember while running with a mask

 Take it Easy

You can not expect to have the same running performance while running with a mask. Wearing a mask will limit your lung’s capacity to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Reduced breathing capacity has a massive influence on your performance. Your lungs and your heart have to put a lot more effort to deliver blood and oxygen to your muscles. The best solution is to slow down.

 Adapt Your Goal

Focus only on maintaining your running routine. Don’t worry too much about the distance, the pace, or your splits because there are no races or competitions to training for. Instead of focusing your attention on what your watch is telling you, shift your attention to the present moment, to your feelings, your thoughts, to the surroundings, and the fact that you can run free outdoors.

 Focus on the Positive

Running outdoors, with or without a mask, is still better than not running at all. You still work on your physical and mental health.

 Look for Solutions

Although experts say the risk of infection outdoors is minimal, except for large crowds close to each other, most of us should cover our faces and respect the UAE government’s guidelines. Perhaps try different types of masks and fabrics. Whether you wear it or not, it’s in your consciousness. Whatever choice you make, the most important precaution is social distancing and respecting government guidelines.

Image of a man running while climbing stairs

Run at Home and win amazing prizes from Asics

ASICS has launched the Ramadan 5K Challenge to enable everyone to work out efficiently, without having to leave the comfort of home. 

In this challenge, participants will gain exclusive access to a FREE three-week training plan and eleven sessions, that will be taught by ASICS expert coaches via live ZOOM video calls. All the training sessions will be home-based and will focus on body conditioning exercises, getting participants fit to run. It is advised for all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced gym-goers. And is a great opportunity to involve all of your family members to not only enjoy the process together but to feel fitter than ever before. By the end of the training session, there will be a virtual 5K run, to celebrate the achievements. Download Asics Studio App and get running. 

We provide free content, as we love all things fitness and wellness. But if you like this story, feel free to buy us a coffee 🙂 HERE

  • To attend free mental health coaching group for COVID, click here
  • How to maintain nutrition during the lock down? We asked an expert. Click here
  • Click HERE to read about ways to take care of your eye health in the age of increased screen-time
  • Read lock-down diary of a personal trainer in Dubai
  • How to maintain curly hair during the lock down. Click here
Arti Dani
Arti Dani is a journalist by trade, a travelling runner with 5 international marathons, one ultra-marathon under her belt. 100 push-ups a day is a simple job for her, even though she's still working to perfect her headstand skills.
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