Where do you run? On a path or a trail? When running outside, many of us run along the road.
The choice to run along the road brings safety issues. The problem is… you can’t control the drivers on the road. Even on a perfect day, you can’t will those drivers to be focused and runner-friendly. Wouldn’t that be nice?
We live on an island and running along the river is my go-to. The problem is that the road isn’t very runner or biker friendly in many spots. The shoulder is… well… a thin strip (of course, uneven and gravely) in some spots. Actually, it’s more spots than you’d like and usually just before a curve. 🙂 And the road could use a repave crew too. Of course, right? You know what I mean. There is a fantastic mile that has a wide paved shoulder.
Porter & I typically don’t run together. When I see him running with traffic it makes me crazy. Except for that fantastic mile with the great wide paved shoulder… because they took the shoulder from the other side. He crosses to be on the side with the better shoulder… unfortunately it’s everywhere on the run not just the fantastic mile. While I pray.
We hear too often of those accidents involving runners or bikers vs car. Here are my tips to running safe on the road.
Tips to Run Safe on the Road.
- Run against traffic. Besides being the rule my mom taught me, it gives me a feeling of control to know that speeding cars are headed towards me. Not that 140-something pound me, with no super powers, has any control against a speeding car… it’s a control thing! But seriously, seeing what’s coming may give you that split second to take a step to the side.
- Have at least one ear free so you can hear what’s coming. It’s best to have both ears free but I prefer to run with music. Not crazy loud, just some beat or maybe something to sing to. The problem is that you can’t hear that truck that’s bearing down on you with Katy Perry blasting in your ear. Give yourself the opportunity to use that sense to help you if you need it.
- Dress to be seen. Don’t you love those race start pics that look like a rainbow? There’s safety in that rainbow! I love a slimming black running outfit… in the gym. Pick the wildest colors you can for your outside runs. Brooks has a Nightlife Collection that I love. Reflection and bright in one. Just make it easy for drivers to see you, especially in the winter or on rainy days.
- Run with id. A couple years ago, Christmas brought RoadIDs. You’ve seen the flyer in your race bag? I love mine. But just putting a sheet with your name and emergency contact will do. Or an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact if you run with a phone. I like that Road Id puts contact and potential medical info in one place. While it may be oversharing with your running buddy, it may give your EMT just what she needs to help. Just in case.
- Run with your phone. I use my smartphone for music and MapMyRun but have read enough stories about runners having problems during a run that has me running with my phone pretty much every run. We live in a suburban area so cell coverage isn’t an issue. Even in the heat of summer, my phone is right there with me. Someday I’ll get better at taking pics with it!
While five tips won’t guarantee your safety, they’re a good start to get you home after a run.
Say a prayer for those runners (walkers and bikers too) who haven’t made it home.
Let’s do what we can to make sure every run ends with a stretch not a stretcher.