Wear Reflective Gear
When you’re running, whether it’s day or night, it’s important to wear colors that are bright and reflective. Sure it might feel funny to wear a neon orange shirt and bright yellow socks, but it helps drivers to see you and protects you from being hit.
Run Against Traffic
While there has been disagreement over this tip time and time again, I believe it’s safest to run against traffic. The reason is that when you run against traffic, you are in control. You are the one who is looking at oncoming traffic. You are the one who can jump out of the way if a driver is not paying attention. If a car is coming from behind you, you don’t have the upper hand and might not be able to stay as safe.
Stop if You Have Severe Pain
Runners are famous for fighting through the pain. Running is going to hurt. It’s going to be exhausting. You’ll likely get cramps and shin splints. I’m talking about a different kind of pain, though. If you cannot stand to put one foot in front of the other, you should stop running. It could be a sign that something is seriously wrong. A seasoned running will be able to differentiate between basic muscle pain and pain that indicates an emergency. Know your body and listen to it to ensure the safest running conditions.
Carry a Cell Phone
I know that there’s not enough room in your tight running shorts to put a cell phone; however, there are many athletic shirts that have a cell phone pocket built in. You can also get an armband for your cell phone and use it to play music. While getting away and unplugging is likely one of your favorite parts of running, if you get hurt or find yourself in a bad situation, you’re going to want to have a cell phone on you so you can call for help if you need first aid.
Always Tell Someone Where You are Going
Whether you tell your mom, your spouse, or all of Facebook, tell someone that you are going out to run, especially if you are running solo. A quick Facebook status update saying you’re about to head out for a neighborhood run will alert people to where you are if you take too long coming back.
Carry Pepper Spray
Again, I know you might not have a lot of room to carry several items on you, but safety first! Pepper spray does not necessarily have to be used against another person. If a large, angry dog comes after you, it will work for protecting you against that too!
All in all, being aware of your surroundings is key. Everyone thinks the worst happens to other people and that it can’t happen to them. The truth is, we are all vulnerable when we run, so take some safety precautions now to avoid disaster later.