Running Safety Rule #1: Wear reflective gear and use lights. We runners not only need to see where we are going in the dark but we need to make sure we are visible to cars and other pedestrians as well. Gear like headlamps and blinking lights are a great source for putting out light. Reflective vests, jackets and shoes, as well as brightly colored clothing with built in reflectivity shine when an external light source like headlights or streetlights are flashed upon them. By combing these two tips we will make sure we are seen and that we can see!
Running Safety Rule #2: Tell people know where you are going. Just shouting, “I’m going for a run!” as we dash out the door isn’t good enough. It is important to tell loved ones or friends that we are going for a run, where we are going and about how long we expect to be gone in case something goes awry.
Running Safety Rule #3: Carry a phone and your ID. Lots of us are running with our phones now, listening to our favorite running playlists but carrying a phone with you has a safety component too. Being able to call someone in case of an emergency is important as is carrying proper identification. Road IDs can be customized to share information such as a name and number of an emergency contact, any medication allergies and blood type.
Running Safety Rule #4: Run against traffic and obey all traffic laws. Learn to love the red light! By following all traffic laws such as stopping at streetlights and crossing at intersections, we remain aware of our surroundings and are also providing a courtesy to those with whom we share the road. Running against traffic also lets us see what is happening up the road and remember if you are listening to music with headphones, keep the volume low enough that you are still aware of your surroundings!
Running Safety Tip #5: Run with a group. Running with a group is a great way to stay motivated during the cold and dark months of winter. It is also more safe to run with a group in low light conditions of early morning or later in the evening. As a group you are less likely to get approached and in the event of an emergency, there is always someone with you to call for help. Big River offers great opportunities to run with a group, Monday nights at our South City, University City and O’Fallon stores and Wednesday mornings for women only at South City. Check the Group Run page for more details.
Running Safety Tip #6: Run in well-lit areas. Sticking to routes that have well-lit paths and sidewalks is key for safety. Not only can you see your surroundings better, you will be able to be seen as well. Well-lit areas also tend to have more foot traffic and less chance of crime.
Running Safety Tip #7: Stay well hydrated. Even when the temperatures get cooler, staying properly hydrated is key! When running outdoors in colder weather, we don’t tend to sweat as much or feel as thirsty. We also tend to overdress and then sweat too much because of all of our layers! And remember, for you treadmill runners, you will sweat more indoors during a long run! A good rule of thumb is to consume about half your body weight in fluid ounces daily.