There is no doubt that running brings with it a feeling of exhilaration.
What we need to remember is that running can also make us vulnerable. It
can bring us to places we may not have ventured otherwise, and we need to
take precautions to stay safe on each and every run.
My first safety rule for day or night running is to always run against the
flow of traffic. If possible, you should also avoid busy roads and those
with no shoulders or sidewalks.
Wear light-colored or bright clothing with reflective fabrics or add a reflective jacket or vest so traffic can spot you more easily. I see so
many runners out after dusk running in black tights and a black jacket.
Without any reflective materials on they are virtually invisible to the
driver. Do your best to run in safe, well-lit, low-traffic areas,
preferably on the sidewalk. You should pick a route that is not
secluded, you want to be close to help in the event of a fall or possible
attack. Bottom line is that to be the safest you need all of your senses.
Additionally, I like to wear a reflective hat
brim to shield my eyes from
If possible, always run with at least one other person. I say this knowing
that I prefer to run on my own so I can set my own pace, but there is
safety in numbers. If you are running alone let someone know the route you
are running and the approximately how long you will be out. Vary your daily
routine as much as possible, the bad guys out there look for habits and
routine and an easy target. Running along a secluded path through the woods
may be inspiring, but it could be just as dangerous as running through the
back alleys of a big city at night.
You should also always carry some form of identification with you. Of
course you don't want to think that anything bad will ever happen while you
are out running, but the chance is always there no matter what you're
doing. You wouldn't want to become a John Doe!
Find surfaces with good footing and in winter be particularly careful of
black-ice spots, which are difficult to detect in the dark. If it is icy,
use a product such as Yaktrax to aid your footing.
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About the Author
Perry Dau is the owner of
a specialty, on-line running store. Perry has been a runner and "silent sports"
enthusiast for nearly 30 years.
Perry Dau can be reached at: perry[at]RevelSports.com