Running is one of the most important and popular ways of keeping fit – both physically and mentally. It is important to train sensibly not only in terms of setting achievable aims and goals, but also to keep safe. You will never get that PB if you get hit by a moving car crossing the road in a dangerous spot to save a few seconds!
Here’s a few tips for keeping safe while running – this list is by no means exhaustive, and if you have any concerns there are plenty places to discuss this with your fellow runners, be that at your local club or group, or with the many social media groups dedicated to running.
1 – Planning
Plan a route a head of time – an obvious one, but can easily resolve any potential lapse in concentration whilst on the move. A route will help you focus, knowing how far you have left can be a great relief!
2 – The Right Gear
Ensure you are wearing the correct footwear, and have adequate clothing for your chosen route. Waterproofs and extra layers maybe a consideration. Hats, gloves and a buff in colder weather for example, or sunscreen in the summer. For longer runs snacks and nutrition, water, safety items such as foil blankets, first aid kit, and navigation aids such as map and compass.
3 – Highway Code
Follow the Highway Code guidance for pedestrians – essential reading for any road runner
4 – Inform
Now you have a route, let someone know where you’re going and how long you will be.
5 – Mobile phone
Take a mobile phone – handy for contacting someone should the unexpected arise such as an injury. It can also be used to track your route to refer back in the event you get lost. Multiple apps are available for this such as Strava, MapMyRun etc
6 – Clothing and lighting
Wear some bright and reflective clothing – there is a whole host of options out there from the “entry level” brands such as Decathlon to all the top sports brands. Many running clubs also have branded kit in hi-viz colours. Also, on particularly dark evenings you can wear a head-torch or clip on light. There are many lightweight options on the market designed especially for this.
7 – Social running
Find a friend – running is a great way to socialise, and safer in numbers. If you don’t have any running pals already, look to local clubs, parkrun and informal running groups. A quick google or social media search should help.
8 – ICE
Carry ICE (In Case of Emergency) details – this could be on your phone home screen, a small bracelet etc. RoadID.com offer a great little tag that fits your GPS watch. Worldwide shipping available.
9 – Timing
Avoid busy times of day such as rush hour – road crossings are easier, roads safer to run along, less cyclists etc
10 – Music
Music can be an important assist in motivation and training. It can be a good distraction from how hard you are working and help you along. It can also be a good distraction to your surroundings – that cyclist passing from behind, those emergency sirens, a shouted warning etc. If you do run with music, consider a very low volume or removing one ear piece.
Enjoy your running but remember to be always running safely
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