Between the fresh air and the interesting scenery, running outdoors can be invigorating. But there are safety precautions to take when you leave a protected indoor environment.
The Road Runners Club of America has a wealth of advice.
For starters, take some precautions before you leave home. First, tell loved ones where you’ll be running. Next, in addition to taking ID with you, write your name, phone number and blood type (in case of an accident) inside one of your running shoes. Also, carry your cellphone.
“There’s safety in numbers” is an old expression that still holds true. Steer clear of unpopulated areas, deserted or unlit streets, even overgrown trails. Trust your intuition — if a situation just doesn’t feel right, stay away from it. Also get in the habit of varying your running pattern, but do run in familiar areas.
While it’s easy to lose yourself in your thoughts or music, stay alert. That means skipping the headphones. You want both your eyes and ears attuned to your environment.
Whether you run on city streets or country roads, go against the flow of traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles and they can see you. This should allow you to react more quickly to a problem.
Remember mom’s lessons about crossing streets — look both ways at all intersections. Do obey traffic signals, and don’t blindly assume that drivers will see you or that they’ll stop for you, especially those turning into your path.
If you want to go running while traveling, ask the local running club or running store for safe routes. Stick to areas with open businesses in case of an emergency and, of course, follow all the safety steps you would at home.
For more safety tips check out the website of the Road Runners Club of America.