Sep 18, 2020 | Community

Running during COVID in Brunswick

Author: Pablo Gonzalez

Illustrator: Licenciado Dominguez

As it has been for the past few months, the sudden turn of events has become a daily routine for humans in this world. In Victoria, we’re currently facing an unprecedented phase that has restricted us from doing certain things. Many of those restrictions block us from doing activities that bring us joy and at the same time, we have the opportunity to appreciate more what we used to take for granted.

One of those things is exercise: a medium for us to seek physical and mental health. Those of us who enjoy running in Brunswick’s parks, streets, or along the Merri Creek constantly wonder if new restrictions will limit the way we run. While it depends on how far you like running, the current restrictions will most likely impact your running routine.

We have prepared some information that you will find useful to plan your next run. First, a list of the new restrictions, then some useful numbers to estimate how far you can run, and finally a couple of routes that you might find fun to jog during these restricted days.


It is important to highlight that yes, you can leave home to run (or to do whatever type of exercise you prefer). The limits are the following:

  • You must not travel more than 5km from where you live to exercise. Use the “How far is 5km from your home?” tool.
  • You can exercise with the members of your household or one other person you don’t live with. This can be a friend or family member. It is important that you keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others while exercising, even when wearing a face covering.
  • Exercise is limited to a maximum of two hours per day, which can be split over a maximum of two sessions
  • Outdoor sport facilities are closed. Indoor sports centres including gyms, training facilities and pools are closed.
  • Outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment are open.
  • Community sport training and competition cannot occur.

You can read more details here: Department of Health and Human Services.

Mask or no mask while I run?

If you are doing exercise or physical activity where you are out of breath or puffing, such as jogging or running, you do not need to wear a face covering. You do have to carry a face covering with you so you can wear it before or after exercising, unless you have a lawful exception (e.g. a medical condition).

For more information on face coverings visit the face coverings page.

Determine the distance you can run 

This might take you back to your basic physics lessons at school, but if you sucked at it, we will make it easy for you. 

Depending on your pace or how fast you can run, you can determine the distance you are able to run. This means that you need to know your speed or how many minutes it takes you to run a whole kilometer to read the tables below.

The table above says that if you run at a pace of 6 minutes per kilometer, then the furthest distance you can run within an hour is 10 kilometers. Similarly, the tables below calculate time and distance based on rates of 5 and 4 minutes per kilometer.

Running a minute faster than four minutes per kilometer grants you an extra two kilometers. Hence, if you run at a pace of 5 minutes per kilometer, the maximum distance you will be able to run within the allowed time is twelve kilometers.

If you crave for more distance, speed will give it to you. A steady pace of 4 minutes per kilometer will allow you to stay within the time permitted while running a distance of 15 kilometers.

Restriction-friendly routes in Brunswick

Now that you know how long it will take you to run a certain distance based on your speed, here are some routes that you can consider running within Brunswick.

Prinny – Inner Circle – Creek – Train (PICT)

Total distance: 13km – Paces that fit within one-hour: between 4:00-4:37min/km – Strava link

Ok, this route is not strictly within Brunswick only but Prinny wouldn’t care about sharing boundaries with the people of Brunswick, would it?

I really like this course because you can change scenarios (city, creek, park), it is a loop and you do not have to pause your run that many times (your knees will welcome that!). Of course, it depends on where you start to run but if you wish to replicate it exactly the same way as in the picture below, you can find the route here

Inner Circle – Creek – Train (ICT)

Total distance: 10km – Paces that fit within one-hour: between 4:00-6:00min/km – Strava link

You can shorten the previous route by not running Prinny’s circuit or by starting off on a east-west/west-east street located closer to Brunswick Road (e.g. Blyth, Albert or Stewart St). This route is almost exactly the same as the one mentioned above and the scenarios change constantly.


Total distance: 9km. Paces that fit within one-hour: between 4:00-6:00min/km – Strava link

This route also leaves the Brunswick boundaries but it respects the 5km restriction and it is a nice and varied route. What I like the most about it is that it visits the northern part of the Merri Creek which is way greener, it feels more humid and more natural.

We hope you found this information useful for keeping yourself healthy mentally and physically. Remember to respect the rules and to stay connected for more information!

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