Running safety is a must know for anyone who goes out for a jog. With days getting shorter and available running hours darkening, it is even more important to make sure you are taking every precaution. Whether you’re a first-time walk-jogger or a world class marathoner, stay safe while you run outside with these tips:
Make Yourself Seen
There’s always that one person on the road in a dark gray shirt, black pants just blending into the road ahead. DON’T BE THAT PERSON! Make yourself as visible as possible! An easy way to do this is to wear bright or reflective clothing so that you stand out against the darkness. Most major brands create neon-colored running gear and/or incorporate reflective stripes or dots into their designs as an extra safety function of the clothing.
Aside from your wardrobe, you can also make yourself seen by literally lighting up. Any type of light will help make you more visually interesting to oncoming traffic. It is as simple as clipping on a LED light and blinking your way to safety. To take the lighting to the next level, wear a headlamp or hold a flashlight to produce a larger focus point and BONUS it will illuminate the path to help avoid any foot displacements that can lead to injury.
Know Your Route
When the light starts to dim, it is not the time to start exploring new running routes. Plan your route before you leave and make sure you are familiar with the area and have run it at least twice before.
If you are stuck deciding between favorites, choose the one that is better lit and in a more public sphere.
Music is a great way to get motivated and pumped up for a run, it can help you set your pace, and keep you distracted from the burn occurring in your lungs as you push forward. It can also distract you from your surroundings. Try running without music and using the time to think or if music is a must limit yourself to only 1 headphone.
One of the first things in safety as said in the first tip is making yourself seen to drivers, but it is also important for you to see the drivers. Running on the left side of the road will allow you to see any cars approaching your side of the street and can keep you visible to them but also makes you more aware of your surroundings and able to react quickly if there is ever a need to.
Move Your Run Inside
If running in the dark just isn’t your thing, you may want to consider moving your run inside until the spring. Not only is treadmill running safer than being on the open road it is also great for keeping your joints safe. The suspension on some treadmills incorporates suspension systems that can lessen both horizontal and vertical impact on knees, hips, and ankles by over a third. This is great for giving your body a bit of a break after an injury or during rigorous training to prevent stress-induced injuries.
It’s important to try out many treadmills to find one that feels natural to you and your running style and incorporates programs that can keep you engaged. Check out virtual journeys like the ones on this high cushioning treadmill which will give you an outdoor experience from the safety of your gym.