An Essential Guide to Modern Running Safety
Getting hit by bikes, other runners, and even cars is an all-too-often occurrence these days, and it all comes down to focusing on your surroundings. Running is generally a safe activity, but it can always be a little safer.
It's important to stop yourself at times and realize you're not invincible. We've put together some smart tips to ensure you always stay safe while out running.
- Wear a Reflective Kit
Ensure that what you have on is bright, and get yourself a headlamp or a set of caution lights to make sure you're definitely visible out on the road or the running track.
Being seen is one thing, but if you're running along a misty track, you want to make sure you're wearing a headlamp to have ample time to see obstructions. Position the light at about 45 degrees to ensure you can avoid any dangers directly ahead of you. Having a headlamp set directly in front of you is no good as it won't illuminate the path.
- Avoid Running on Roads
Hollywood's the usual culprit when it comes to generating clichés about early morning runs on suburban streets. Running is best limited to parks and recreational zones if you're serious about your safety.
If you have no other option, though, be sure to run in the direction of oncoming traffic. Drivers will have plenty of time to recognize you, especially on roads with bends and curves. It also enables you to see oncoming cars so that you can react as well.
- Use Common Sense When Planning Your Route
Steer away from poorly lit areas and blind corners and poorly paved or pitted terrain, even if that means looping over one small area. Try to have a plan in place before you head out, and this rule applies to trail running in particular. Never forego your map before you make your way into mountainous areas.å
- Use the Strava Global Heat Map
Using technology - including this innovative app - to find your way around publicly frequented than areas saves you from running into danger, whether it's a dangerous highway or just some part of town deserted by the general public.
Other options include Garmin LiveTrack and Whatsapp Live Location.
- Safety in Numbers
Another way to check out a new area is to link up with a running community. Running communities will also help you feel more confident if you're new to running.
If there isn't a group run around, an easy option is to let a friend know when you expect to be back from a run, especially if it's out in the mountains. Again, the Whatsapp and Garmin apps mentioned above will help you to do this in a more time-efficient way.
- Change up the Earphones
If hearing noises in your immediate environment is a challenge, you might try running with only one earphone in your ears, or with the sound lowered to a manageable level. You could also try out a pair of bone conduction earphones.
- If All Else Fails, Treadmills Work Just Fine
If safety issues are an unavoidable part of your running route, perhaps it's time to consider using a treadmill instead, at least in certain times or places.
- Memphis, TN.