Saturday, January 23, 2010

Safety First

The Beginning Runner's Handbook  touches briefly on the subject of safety while running. 
Running outside, (something that I haven't done yet) and especially running in a highly populated area such as Toronto, comes with it's own set of cautions and needs for safety and as a woman it can make me especially vulnerable.  
Being new to running, I found this information helpful. 
My mom always says better safe then sorry, so with that in mind here are some tips to make your running more enjoyable by making it safer.
  • Always carry identification, it is a simple as writing your name, address, phone number for a family or friend, blood type and any medical condition that may be relevant and putting it in your running shoes. There are also a number of companies, such as Road ID, that offer easy to use identification systems.
  • Carry a quarter or cell phone for an emergency call.
  • Keep a Whistle or Noisemaker in your pocket or hanging around your neck.
  • Don't wear jewelry and it can attract attention you really don't want. 
  • Wear clothing and/or gear with reflective materials on them or add reflective strips to your favourite running gear. This makes you instantly visible to vehicles. Ankle reflector designed for cyclist also work just as well for runners.
  • Write down your running route and leave it with Family/Friends or somewhere it can easily be found. 
  • Run in areas you are familiar with and don't be too predictable, consider altering you route once in a while.
  • Avoid running in unlit areas at night.
  • Run against traffic so there is a better chance of vehicles seeing you, and you can see them. Make eye contact with the driver, just because you can see then doesn't mean they can see you.
  • Watch for car doors.
  • If you run with music, which many of us love to do (including me) means that we must be that much more vigilant about being alert, or chose not to run with music. 
  • Slow down at all intersection, don’t assume a car will stop where it’s supposed to.
  • Respect the flow of traffic, stay out of bicycle and vehicle lanes.
  • Ignore verbal harassment, look directly at the person and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
  • Trust your intuition.
  • Call the police immediately if something happened to you or someone else.
What are your suggestions for staying safe while running? As a woman runner do you feel like you are more vulnerable?

This is Perfect timing, Tricia at Endurance Isn't Only Physical is doing a Road ID Giveway. 
Go and check it out!! 

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