Running is one of the most liberating and exhilarating things we can do. But from time to time, it’s important to stop and remind ourselves that we are not invincible. Whether it’s your workout progression or remembering to run against traffic, we need to train smart. Always. In that vein, we polled our Facebook community for the best safety tips to keep in mind while running.
Here’s our top 10:
10. Plan your run ahead of time
This one might seem like a no-brainer. It’s always a good idea to have a route in mind before you hit the trail. Knowing where you are going will let you focus on your workout and help you stay on track to avoid getting lost. This is especially helpful if you are visiting new cities. Create a route on mapmyfitness.com, and tell a buddy you’re headed for a run.
9. If listening to music, only use one earbud
How many times have you been startled by a cyclist passing by you, or sirens you don’t hear until the truck is right behind you? We know that music can enhance your workout, but be aware of your surroundings – including noises from other runners, cyclists, cars and even animals.
8. Carry an ID in case of emergency
If you run with a phone that has a case, slip a driver’s license or ID in the back cover. In the unfortunate event of an accident, it’s helpful to have proper identification on you. Road ID is also a great option and provides a line of various identification tags.
7. Have your phone on you (and use MapMyRun)
This one may seem beyond obvious these days. So long as you keep your eyes on the road and aren’t running and texting, you can use your phone for training and for music or podcasts. Also, using the Live Tracking feature of MapMyRun is a great way to let others know where you are. Friends can follow your progress in real-time.
6. Run against traffic
Running against traffic gives drivers time to see you far enough in advance, especially on roads with trails with bends and curves. If you are running on the sidewalk or multi-use trails, travel on the right and pass on the left.
5. Be visible and wear bright-colored or reflective clothing
It’s not just a fashion trend right now in the running community. Neon apparel is both fashion-forward and useful. The brighter, the better. Reflective clothing is recommended for both early morning and late night workouts.
4. Light accessories work too
If you don’t want to stock up on bright-colored clothing, think about investing in accessories with flashing lights or headlamps. You’ll cut back on laundry and still be seen in the dark hours. These items are usually lightweight, inexpensive and won’t distract you from our workout.
3. Make it social
The expression, “safety in numbers” rings true for athletes. Working out with friends can make time pass quicker, help you meet your goals and provide an added element of safety in the case of emergency. This tip rings true for pets as well – dogs can make great running partners!
2. Follow basic traffic laws
Do some research if necessary and be aware of shoulders along the road and traffic. It’s best to be a defensive runner. Always look out for cars turning right (and looking left) – just because you can see them doesn’t mean they can see you. Don’t blow through stop-signs and be sure to cross in crosswalks when possible.
1. Avoid rush hour
It’s important to get your workout in, but try and be mindful of the best conditions. If you can avoid it, don’t run or bike during the busiest hours of traffic. It pays to wake up 30 minutes earlier and enjoy an open road.