Running can be a dangerous activity to participate in. It goes without saying that the roads all across this country are congested with smug drivers that think they own the roads. Add to that loose dogs and wild animals and a runner must always be on his toes. But now we have to worry about being hunted down like deer.
Running is risky, but that is no reason to stop doing it. If anything in life is worth doing, there is going to be risk involved. So how do we manage that risk? How can we stay safe while running?
Here are a few ways.
1. Choose a Safe Running Route
This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but many of us do not think about it. I never did. I just went out the front door and started running around the neighborhood. But your neighborhood might not be the safest option.
A lot of towns and cities have parks with walking paths. These can be shared paths that also allow bikes and rollerblades and all other activities as long as they are not motorized, or these can be strictly walking paths that do not allow wheels of any kind. Either way, running is usually allowed. Even if it is a short loop, the distraction of the other people and the scenery is usually enough to get you through a nice run.
Don’t have a park like the one described above? That is okay. Just look for the streets in the area that has the least amount of motorized traffic, paying extra attention to the streets with wide shoulders or sidewalks.
2. Dress To Be Seen
Wear reflective clothing and bright colors. This is obviously important when you are running at night or early in the morning, but it can be just as effective in the middle of the day too.
Sure someone might have something smart ass to say about that lime green shirt and the hot pink compression socks, but they have something to say because they can see you. No one has anything to say about the guy trying to be a ninja on the run, mostly because they can’t see him.
3. Lose The Earbuds
Yes, we all love music. Running with music or a podcast can kill some of the boredom of a long run. And it has been proven that music is a type of performance enhancer, but when you have the earbuds plugged into your head you and basically taking away one of your senses.
So if you are running in an area with a lot of traffic, or even an area with a lot of other pedestrians, try running without the music. This will give you more awareness of your surroundings and you can pay better attention to your run.
You may even find that you enjoy running without the earbuds.
These three items are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running safety. Stay tuned for more on the topic and in the meantime leave a comment with your thoughts on running safety.