Running is becoming more and more popular every year, as measured by the increasing number of entrants in races all over the world. The increase in runners is a great thing. But, although they say there's safety in numbers, it's important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Use these five tips to make sure you are safe at all times while on your runs.
Stay in Well-Traveled Areas
Keep your runs to areas with a reasonable number of passersby—they can be on foot, bikes or in cars. The idea is to have some regular "company" as you run just in case something goes wrong. If you pull a muscle, trip or just feel unsafe, having others around who can help is important.
If you run on trails, try to pick fairly popular trails and times when there will be some others out for their runs. If you run on the road, pick roads with some traffic, but not the six-lane highways. Also, if you run on the roads, run on the left side, facing traffic. It is much easier to gauge if a driver sees you if you're facing him, and you can adjust if the driver is getting too close to the side of the road.
Run With a Friend
It is far safer to run with someone else than to run alone. You are less likely to be accosted, and if you hurt yourself, there is someone there to help. Obviously you need to find a running partner who matches your training goals and preferences, so start putting feelers out there. There is a perfect running partner for you. You just have to find him or her.
Tell Someone Your Intended Route and Approximate Run Time
Always tell someone: your significant other, roommate, friend, etc., what your intended running route is, and about how long you expect it to take you to complete. Letting someone know when to expect you back ensures that someone begins looking for you if you are not back in a reasonable timeframe. If they know your intended route, they will know where to begin looking.
Take Your Mobile Phone With You
Having your phone with you on a run means that you can call for help if anything goes wrong. You don't have to be accosted to need your phone. All you have to do is turn your ankle or pull a muscle and you'll be wishing you had your phone. It can be a very long walk home when you're several miles away and are having difficulty walking. Being able to call for a ride will make carrying that phone with you worth it.
Get yourself a RoadID
A RoadID wrist ID is a great way to help others help you if you are unable to speak for yourself. The wrist ID contains important information like your name, date of birth, emergency contact information and any known allergies so that if you are ever seriously injured—hit by a car, for example—emergency responders can know your important information, and contact your loved ones. It is inexpensive and could save your life in an emergency. Seriously think about getting yourself a RoadID.
These five tips, if implemented, will help keep you safer while you run. Obviously something unexpected can still happen but, overall, following these tips will keep you safer. Also, never underestimate your own intuition. If you feel that something is not right or that you are unsafe, run as quickly as possible to a safe location. Our intuition often deserves more credit than we give it.race.