The annual haze season is back. For runners, this is definitely a very frustrating time, because it means that we can’t really train properly for upcoming races.
And in a worst-case scenario, the race that we have been training so hard for, may be called off or postponed if the haze is too strong.
Here are some pointers to consider though, if you are running outdoors during the haze period.
The effects of the haze
When we exercise, we breathe at a harder and faster rate and take in more oxygen than we would usually do whilst at rest.
So if we go outdoors for a run during the haze, this means that we are breathing in more harmful particles and pollutants from the air because of this much faster and more rapid rate of breathing.
While running is usually a healthy activity, doing so during the haze may cause more long-term damage to your body. For those who are suffering from asthma, heart or lung problems, this may cause serious problems.
When it is safe to exercise and run outdoors
During the haze, keep a close watch on the Pollution Standard Index (PSI) levels. As long as the PSI readings do not exceed 100 (the unhealthy level), it is may be all right for healthy individuals to go outside and exercise. However, children, pregnant women or elderly folk should be careful if the PSI reading hits 50 or more (the moderate level).
If you have the option available to you, it is advisable to exercise inside rather than outdoors during the haze period. This will reduce the amount of smog and harmful particles that you are breathing in during your exercise session.
Running on the Treadmill
If you wish to continue to maintain your running endurance and stamina through the hazy period, you can consider using the treadmill at the gym. This will give the same type of workout as an outdoor run – but minus the smog pollution though. Interval training and speed workouts can also be achieved on the treadmill, but just be careful that you don’t fall off the machine!
Working on other muscles
At the gym, runners also have the option of working on different muscles, for example, by doing weights or working on the rowing machine or stationary bike. These will give you a great indoor workout without the smog, and at the same time, give your running muscles a well-deserved break from the constant pavement pounding.
Strengthening your Core Muscles At Home
Doing an indoor workout from the comfort of your own home can also help to strengthen your core muscles, if you don’t have access to a nearby gym. Types of exercises that you may do, in order to get a good workout, include burpees, star jumps, push ups and other drill exercises.
Click here for tips on running and the haze – by elite Singapore marathoner and medical doctor, Dr Derek Li.
Other Blog Posts
- Running on the Treadmill
- Drill Workout and Circuit Training, by F1 Runners Lexxus Tan
- Running Injury Free, by Mok Ying Rong
- Runner Collapses during 2XU Compression Run