By Josh Porta

With the recent SEQ lockdown and subsequent gym closures, many of us have been forced to find alternatives to keep active and in shape.

With outdoor running being one of the cheapest and most accessible alternatives, it’s no wonder so many people are taking it up while in lockdown.

Something to consider before hitting the pavement is your acute vs chronic workload ratio (ACWR).  Anything below 0.8 or above 1.3 is considered high risk of injury.

It is a basic calculation where you divide your last weeks total load by the average load over past four weeks. To calculate your load, it is as simple as the duration of activity x rate of perceived exertion (RPE).

Here is an example:

Week 1,2,3,4: (Before Lockdown)

Monday: Gym upper body only | Tuesday: Gym lower = body 45 mins RPE = 5 – 45 x 5 = 225 | Wednesday: Gym Core only | Thursday: 20 min run RPE = 3 – 20 x 7 = 140 |  Friday: Gym upper body only | Chronic lower limb load 225+140 = 365

Week 5: (First week of Lockdown)  

Monday: 30 min run RPE = 5  30 x 5 = 150 | Tuesday: 60 min walk RPE = 1 60 x 1 = 60 | Wednesday: 45 min run with interval training RPE = 8   45 x 8 = 360 | Thursday: 25 min Run RPE = 3 25 x 3 = 75 | Friday: 30 min run RPE = 5  30 x 5 = 150 | Saturday:  60 min walk  RPE = 1   60 x 8 = 60

Acute lower limb load: 150+60+360+75+150+60 = 855

Chronic lower limb load: (365+365+365+365)/4 = 365

ACWR: 855/365 = 2.34

When looking for alternatives to your usual exercise routine, take a moment to consider your ACWR and structure your exercise accordingly. Train Safe, Stay Safe.