Fall is my favorite season, especially for running. The warm days, cool nights, and relatively dry weather make it an ideal time for racing distances from the 5K up and through ultramarathons. It is also an ideal time to revisit some key running safety tips, as the days grow shorter and the frequency of your non-daylight hour runs increase. So while this isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, this will hopefully serve as a good reminder to always try to remain safe while you are out there pounding the pavement.
This seems like an obvious one, but it is critically important that drivers on the road can see you. This means you should wear reflective clothing (such as a running vest) and either carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp. You should run against traffic so even if drivers do not see you, you can see them and react accordingly.
I know that listening to your favorite songs on your run may get you motivated, but not listening to the world around you on the run can be a big safety hazard. While running before sunrise and after sunset especially, you need to be able to hear audible cues that alert you to possible danger: an approaching car, a barking dog, an attacker running up behind you. If you absolutely must listen to music while running, consider bone conduction headphones (which sit outside your ears) or at a minimum leaving one earphone out.
No, I am not talking about checking into Facebook or tweeting out a message every five minutes. You should, however, carry your phone with you (in an armband or fanny pack) so that you can reach others in case of an emergency. The phone also serves to hold your important ICE (in case of emergency) information and can also hold vital medical information (you can also have some of this information on a shoe tag or written on the shoe itself). Some running apps also allow for live tracking, allowing those who you choose to be able to see where you are during your run. Be sure to always let someone know where you’ll be running and for how long.
Find a Friend
The safest thing you can do (short of running indoors on a treadmill) is to find a running partner to join you on your runs. Not only is there more safety in numbers, having someone else to run with provides much-needed motivation as the nights get longer and the air grows colder. If you have a dog that loves to run, bring him or her along for the ride too. It will give you extra bonding time with your furry friend!
SimpliSafe created the below infographic with some suggested apps and products for safety and health this Fall. For more safety tips, visit SimpliSafe’s Twitter page. (Please note that providing this infographic does not imply an endorsement of SimpliSafe or the products and services listed within the infographic.)