10 safety tips for runners this Autumn
As the warmer months have come to an end in Queensland, it is time to start thinking about increasing your awareness of your surroundings – especially if you run in the early morning or evenings when it is dark.
Here are 10 tips to keep you safe this season
1. Always run against traffic
It’s easier to avoid cars if you can see them coming. You want to be able to see headlights of oncoming cars. Avoid busy roads and those with no shoulders or sidewalks.
2. Choose a well-lit route
It might not be your favorite route to run, but the most well-lit route is your safest choice. Oncoming cars see you better, and you’ll always be able to see the road and avoid potential hazards.
3. Be visible
If you’re running in the early morning, night or at twilight, ensure you wear white, yellow, orange clothes or other bright coloured clothes. Avoid wearing black and dark colours so you are easily seen. Also, make sure you have reflective gear on. Most running shoes and clothing these days have reflective material (see Asics Lite-show) but it doesn’t hurt to add more. If you can, a running light is a very inexpensive way to be seen (lightweight flashing lights are available at intraining) by all users of the road.
4. Always have identification on you
Take some form of identification with you at all times, in case of emergency. We recommend obtaining a copy of your drivers licence and having this laminated or a simple piece of paper with emergency contact details and next of kin. This can be easily stored in your pocket or within a lightweight running belt (see spiBELT available in store). Make sure it is not too hidden as you want it to be easily found should something happen.
5. 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 by always running the same route at the same time. Change it up, not only will it be safer, but it will keep things interesting and ensure your body has some variation.
6. Run with a buddy
As the saying goes, strength and safety in numbers. If possible, try to run with a friend and seldom run alone. Look for running groups that run at night (see intraining run club), if that’s the best time for you to run. If you do run alone, make sure someone knows the route you’ll be running and approximately how long you will be out.
7. Carry your mobile phone
You’ll be able to contact police immediately if something happens to you or you notice anything out of the ordinary. intraining have some great products that are comfortable to run with and can hold a variety of items, including mobile phones, gels, keys etc..
8. 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.
9. Ditch the music
Try to avoid wearing headphones when running in the dark. Cutting off your sense of hearing leaves you at a disadvantage. You can’t hear oncoming cars, cyclists, dogs, or any other potential threats. If you absolutely have to run with music or some other distraction, keep the volume very low or run with one earbud out so you can still hear what’s happening around you.
10. Common sense
If you feel that you’re entering an unsafe situation, use common sense and run to a safe location. Call police if you notice anything suspicious.
We hope you enjoy the cooler months ahead. It is a fantastic time to run in Queensland with cool and crisp mornings and evenings. Keep safe and enjoy your next run.