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  • Writer's pictureLiz Lichtenberger

Heading Out for a Run? Keep These Safety Tips in Mind

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Running, walking, and hiking a great ways to stay fit and healthy, but you should take the necessary precautions to stay safe while you are training outdoors, whether you're hitting the roads or the trails. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you head out for a run:

1. Share the road: Remember that you'll be sharing the road with other cyclists, pedestrians, and cars. If you're running with a group on the road, listen for members or cyclists shouting "bike back" or "bike up" to alert you that they are there. Then move to the side so that the cycle can pass. Similarly, if you hear "car back" or "car up," be alert and cautious while you move to the side.

2. Attend to trail obstacles: If you're heading out on a trail run, be sure to go with a buddy. Watch your footing and shorten your stride to avoid falls. Be aware of roots, rocks, and other obstacles on the trail. Generally, pay attention to your surroundings, as there are more obstacles and uneven surfaces on trails than on the roads.

3. Be visible: If you're running early in the morning or late at night, wear reflective clothing. Try to run in well-lit areas, and use headlamps, reflecting lights, or reflective accessories to make yourself visible to drivers. Cross the road in marked crosswalks.

4. Be courteous: There will be other runners, cyclists, and pedestrians on the road or trail with you. Remember to be courteous and smile and wave at other people you encounter. Use crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.

5. Plan for the worst: It's always a good idea to be prepared for emergencies. Wear a Road ID or carry emergency contact information with you in case something happens on your run. And, if you can, run with a charged phone in case you need to call for help.

In addition to the basic safety tips for runners, such as staying alert for cars and bikes, running in well-lit areas, wearing reflective clothing, and carrying a phone with emergency contacts, here are some additional safety tips for runners and walkers:

1. Vary your route: Running the same route every day can make you predictable and vulnerable to potential attackers. Try to mix up your routes to keep things fresh and unpredictable.

2. Run with a buddy: Running with a friend can be a great way to stay safe while also having someone to chat with and motivate you during your run.

3. Trust your instincts: If something doesn't feel right, trust your gut and take action to get to a safer place.

4. Be aware of your surroundings: Avoid running with headphones in both ears, as this can make it difficult to hear approaching cars or potential attackers. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

5. Carry self-defense tools: Consider carrying pepper spray or a personal alarm to help protect yourself in case of an emergency.

Remember, the most important thing is to stay safe while running. By following these tips, you'll be able to enjoy your runs and stay healthy and injury-free. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to a coach or experienced runner for advice. Happy running!




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