Image via sheknows.com
November is National Runner Safety Month - With the days getting shorter, and the weather getting colder, there are plenty of situations that could put runners at a big disadvantage when it comes to safety. Luckily, we've collected 10 safety to help you get the most out of your runs.
1. RUN LIKE YOU ARE INVISIBLE - In the age of smartphones, headphones, billboards, and every matter of distractions, always run as if nobody can see you. Simply assume that you are invisible to the world. It'll make your life so much better.
2. RUN AGAINST TRAFFIC - Give yourself the advantage by being able to react to oncoming traffic. They will also be able to see you approaching.
3. TURN DOWN THE JAMS - If you can't hear the person next to you speaking, your music is too loud. While the safest option is not wearing headphones at all, we realize that this argument is futile. SO, that being said, keep your headphone volume low. They limit your safety in more ways we can count.
4. SLOW YOUR ROLL - Easy there, Tiger. We know that race is fast approaching, but that's no reason to dart across the street without looking both ways. Be cautious at red lights & stop signs and CHECK before you cross (even if the sign says "go"). We guarantee you won't come out a winner in a car vs. driver collision, and they definitely don't give the kind of finisher's medals you'd ever want to wear.
5. BRING THE ESSENTIALS - It might be a pain, but running with a cell phone, I.D., and some cash could be a "make-or-break" during an emergency. For those that hate running with things attached to them, try a Spi-Belt or FlipBelt!
5. BE SEEN - Reflective clothing is a great way to stay visible in low-light situations. There are a variety of blinky devices available if you want to be extra careful. Our buddies at Philadelphia Runner have a plethora of reflective clothing and lighting to keep you brighter than a Christmas tree.
6. STAY OUT OF THE STREET (AND BIKE LANES) - Bike lanes are for bikers. Streets are for cars (unless there is no other option). We get the sidewalk. If dodging people annoys you, the city has hundreds of miles of trails you can hit whenever you'd like. You're removing two huge safety risks by staying on the sidewalk when you run.
7. KNOW YOUR ROUTE & ALTERNATE IT REGULARLY - Make sure you know where you're headed. Use a mapping tool and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Alternate your routes so ne'er-do-wells don't get privy to your routine.
8. RUN WITH A BUDDY - Whether dog or human, there is always power in numbers. It also helps that Philadelphia has over 30 running clubs, so you'll never be without options.
9. ALERT THE AUTHORITIES - If someone is harassing or threatening you, don't interact. Dip into a local business or safe space and call 911 immediately.
10. HELP EACH OTHER OUT - If you see a fellow runner in distress and feel the situation is safe for you to approach, HELP THEM OUT. Creating strong communities is crucial to the safety of everyone participating.
EDIT: 11. TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU'RE HEADED - Thanks to awesome Run215 member Sara for this additional tip! Make sure you tell someone you trust where you're headed and what you're doing. In the case of an emergency, they'll know your whereabouts.
*NOTE: WITH THE SEPTA STRIKE CONTINUING, THERE IS A LOT MORE TRAFFIC AND LOTS OF AMATEUR MOTORISTS ON THE ROAD. ALL THE MORE REASON TO PRACTICE THESE SAFETY TIPS!!
Author: Jon Lyons
Founder of RUN215. Fitness Activist. Father. Self-diagnosed running addict.