How your Garmin data could help future Covid sufferers

The makers of the wearable technology have linked up with the University of Nottingham for the Running Through study


by Trail Running |

Garmin users will be able to take part in a global research project investigating how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected runners' training and recovery.

In conjunction with the University of Nottingham, the Running Through study will use wearable device data of consenting runners to look into the impact of illness, lockdown restrictions, and vaccination programmes.

Researchers will use the data, along with survey responses, to help produce data-based recommendations regarding training load, intensity and infection recovery. Open to all runners and walkers over the age of 18, the study will also explore:

  • The effects of long Covid-19 symptoms on running performance
  • The potential impact of running on recovery times for Covid-19 and other viral infections
  • Covid-19’s potential effect on training regimens and injuries

Garmin wearables customers worldwide – whether they have had Covid or not – can visit to learn more and opt in. Once complete, the results will be publicly available.

“We wanted to work with Garmin because of the brand’s popularity and influence within the running community,” said Stefan Kluzek, Clinical Associate Professor of Sports Medicine at the University of Nottingham. “Health and fitness data from Garmin wearables will help us understand the impact COVID-19 is having on runners, their training, and their overall injuries. The more data we have, the more specific we can get with training and recovery recommendations – letting runners know how they can safely get back to training in the future.”

The university hopes to examine running habits associated with the current restrictions. In addition, changes in the running activities and early symptoms of poor recovery could help runners affected in future to train in a healthier way.

The research team add of their other goals: "It is not clear what training regime changes are linked with an increased risk of injury. Some suggest that changes of running intensity rather the weekly distance, as well as common viral infections, have strong links to injury."

Additionally, the researchers hope to identify characteristics of those runners who are at higher risk of developing symptomatic Covid infection, developing common injuries and subsequently poor recovery after the infection.

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