Image source: Garmin

Fitbit & Garmin users needed for study on effects of COVID-19 on runners

The University of Nottingham is looking for volunteers to share their data for a study on the effect of COVID-19 on runners. You do need to be a user of Garmin, Strava, MyFitnessPal, Fitbit or WattsonBlue to take part.

I’ve had COVID-19 twice. There was a year apart between the infections but I found both times that my running stats took a big hit. It took about 2-3 months for things to get back on track and for my Vo2Max to return to pre-COVID levels.

This is not surprising. The infection causes a build-up of inflammatory cells and excess fluid in the alveoli. The lungs aren’t able to do their function to the same extent as before. It is for this and other reasons that it takes a while to fully heal and recover.

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Being a runner will not protect you from catching COVID-19. But will it help you recover more quickly? This is what a study that is being organised by the University of Nottingham is trying to find out.

Some people experience COVID-19 symptoms that last many months after the infection has gone – prolonged tiredness is one of them. This is sometimes referred to as Long COVID. The research is also looking into the effects of Long Covid on running performance, training regimens and cardiorespiratory complications.

But the scientists need your help. They are looking for runners over 18 years of age to participate in the study. You must own a Garmin or Fitbit smartwatch or heart rate monitor, or have on of the above mentioned accounts. You’ll also need to agree to share your smartwatch data with the researchers.

All of the info will be sitting on password-protected databases sitting on a restricted access computer system. Only the researchers will have access to this. The research data will also be anonymised when presented to the public.

To sign up, visit RunningThrough.org and fill out the four part questionnaire form. It should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete. You will be asked about your running habits and overall health, along with info on any past Covid-19 infections.

There’s no direct benefit for you from participating in the research. But the study is intending to help the overall running community by providing it with data-driven recommendations regarding training load, intensity and infection recovery.

The University of Nottingham project is being funded by an EU grant: TECHNOPOLIS CONSULTING GROUP BELGIUM (TGB), EOSCsecretariat.eu. Results will be published in academic peer-reviewed journals, PhD thesis and by other means.

Source: University of Nottingham (via)

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