As the popularity of running continues to rise, the need for safety grows as well. Below are some suggestions that anyone can incorporate into their daily training runs to ensure that safety is not compromised while trying to obtain your goals.
Ditch the headphones! Running without headphones allows you to be able to hear and be aware of what is going on around you. Using headphones while running and “zoning out” can make you a target for potential criminal activity. Focus on your run and enjoy it, but always be aware of your surroundings.
Run against traffic. This will enable you to see the cars coming towards you. Some drivers are not polite. Some are distracted with mobile devices. You will want to always make sure you can see the cars coming, just in case they cannot see you.
Another useful safety tip for runners who train alone is to let someone know when you leave, what your route is, and what time you expect to return. It will be easier for a loved one to find you and render aid if they know where you are.
Running with a friend or running group are other ways to stay safe. Safety in numbers! Runners who run with even one partner are less likely to be harassed while running. If you do not have any friends that run, reach out to a local running store. Many stores have weekly running groups with varying distances and paces for everyone. Social media is also a way to reach out to other running groups near you. Starting a neighborhood running group can be fun way to connect with your neighbors, get fit together, and stay safe.
Always have some reflective gear and/or light when running in early morning or after dark. It’s hard enough for tired drivers to see dark moving objects in those hours before sunrise. Wearing reflective gear and using a light will ensure that you are seen. There are many types of reflective vests, jackets, and gear and many varieties of lights such as flashlights, head lamps, and lights that attach to your shoes. Try experimenting with different options to see which ones you like the best.
Wearing an ID bracelet or identification will also help keep you safe. The ID bracelets have your contact and medical information on them, so if anything ever happens to you while running and/racing, you’ll be assured that you’ll receive the correct medical treatment and that loved ones can be promptly notified.
Incorporating these safety rules into your training runs will enable you to relax and enjoy your run.
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