Running and Walking Safety
As the evenings get darker and our morning sun is delayed, many of us are finding ourselves forced to run in the dark. While this might not be an ideal scenario, it may be the only chance that you have to log your miles. There are many products and habits that can make this a safer practice. Read the following article and stop in at Fleet Feet to check out our reflective arm bands, cell phone pouches, reflective vests, headlamps, pepper spray, and more.
With busy schedules and limited hours of daylight, some runners find their only time to run is in the darkness of early morning or evening. Running in the dark is not recommended but, if you have to do it, make sure to follow these guidelines.
- Always Run Against Traffic It's easier to avoid traffic if you can see it. Avoid busy roads and those with no shoulders or sidewalks.
- Be Visible If you're running in the early morning or at night, even at dusk, wear white, yellow, or orange clothes. Also, make sure you have reflective gear on. Although some items (running shoes, jackets) already have reflective pieces on them, it doesn't hurt to add more.
- Always Have Identification on You Put your driver's license in your pocket or wear an ID tag on your shoe.
- Vary Your Routes and Times Potential attackers can study runners' routines and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area. Don't make yourself an easy target.
- Run With a Buddy There's strength and safety in numbers. If possible, try to never run alone. If you're running alone, let someone know the route you're running and approximately how long you will be out.
- Carry a Cell Phone You'll be able to contact police immediately if something happens to you or you notice anything out of the ordinary.
- Watch Out for Bikes and Runners Even if you're running on a path or in a park with no cars, always be aware of other runners and cyclists. Before you stop or turn around, make sure your path is clear. This advice applies to running in both daylight and darkness.
- Follow Your Instincts If you feel that you're entering an unsafe situation, trust your gut and run to a safe location.
- Ditch Your Music Make sure you leave your radio, MP3 player, or iPod at home. Cutting off your sense of hearing leaves you at a disadvantage. You can't hear oncoming cars, cyclists yelling to move, dogs, or any other potential threat.