Originally published November 1, 2012 at midnight, updated October 30, 2012 at 10:53 a.m.
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SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Although running isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dangerous outdoor pastimes, there are still perils worth considering, and preparation is important. In honor of National Running Safety Month, here are 10 safety tips to keep you accident-free while you’re kicking up dust on your next run.
1 Nix The Tunes
If you usually have music blaring through your headphones to propel you through your run, consider freeing your ears or lowering the volume to increase your awareness of your surroundings. Being able to hear can help you avoid dangers that your eyes might miss.
2 Stay Connected
Keep your cellphone with you when you run or carry enough change to use a pay phone. Learn where the nearest pay phones are to your route.
3 Make A Change
Vary your running route so a potential attacker won’t know where to expect you at a certain time. Be sure to alert your family or friends of where you are planning on running.
4 Prevent It!
Try to keep injuries from occurring in the first place by using the right gear, warming up your muscles before you start and taking precautions to deal with weather conditions.
5 Use Your Intuition
Avoid running routes that take you through bad neighborhoods. If you're running in an unfamiliar area, be prepared to change your route or turn around if you sense that the area you're headed toward may not be safe.
6 Leave A Trace
Be sure to carry a photo ID on you when you run, or write important information such as name, phone number, medical conditions and blood type on the inside of your shoe in the event of an emergency.
7 Use Your Memory
Practice memorizing license plate numbers and distinguishing features of strangers in the event that something happens and you need to notify the police.
LIGHT YOUR WAY
Potential ankle-breakers are everywhere, and if you enjoy running in the dark, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered many of them before. Keep yourself from treading on treacherous terrain with Knuckle Lights, 45-Lumen battery-operated lights designed to be worn on the hands. They not only help you see, but help you be seen. $39.99 for a set of two; available at knucklelights.com.
8 Bring A Friend
There’s safety in numbers, so try to organize a running buddy to accompany you on your trip.
9 Run In The Sun
Try to avoid running before dawn or after dark, but if you need to, be sure to wear reflective clothing and run on the sidewalk rather than in the street.
10 Go Against The Grain
Road runners should run so that they are facing traffic, which gives them better visibility and a chance to dodge an oncoming cyclist or vehicle. Trail runners who use multi-use trials should be sure to look over their shoulder when changing direction to avoid colliding with a passing cyclist or another runner.