During the recent lockdowns, our most common activities have been compromised, and among them the outdoor activities. Thus, we have come to appreciate even more our freedom to choose where and when to exercise.

Running has not been an exception. A recent survey among 3961 runners found that up to 29% of them started running during the global pandemic. This is an important rise that should not be underestimated.

But although it is a lot of potential “new” runners they may differ from “old” runners.

A recent survey found interesting findings among these new post-pandemic runners differentiating them from their pre-pandemic counterparts.


Key findings

  • 32% of post-pandemic runners are looking to run a virtual race against a 15% of pre-pandemic runners. Conversely, only 65% of them are looking to participate in in-person races against an 85% of pre-pandemic runners.
  • Physical health was the primary motivation for 72% of post-Covid runners, while it was the main reason for only a 18% of pre-pandemic runners.
  • Post-pandemic runners were less likely to run for competition or achievement (34% less), social interaction (31% less) or mental/emotional health (15% less) than pre-pandemic runners


Main conclusion

Running as an outdoor activity has suffered a significant boom since the start of the pandemic, with new runners differing from the old ones in motivations and race participation preferences.


Did you run before the pandemic or is it a new activity in your life?

What is the main motivation to do it?




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