Basic Running Safety

Basic Running Safety
Many individuals choose running as their primary method of exercise. Novice, intermediate and advanced runners should all follow basic running safety---such as injury prevention and environment awareness---to ensure a long, enjoyable lifetime of fitness.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Follow an appropriate training program. New runners should seek counsel from seasoned coaches and their doctor before embarking on a new running program. Additionally, runners of all skill levels should only increase their mileage by 10 percent each week to help prevent injuries. Always warm up and cool down during a training run.
Step 2
Listen to your body. Should you experience pains while running, cease exercise and contact a trusted physician. Common running injuries---such as shin splints---can quickly heal with proper protocol. However, if left untreated, many injuries can aggravate and lead to more severe conditions. Also be aware of your body's reaction to weather temperatures, such as fatigue on a hot day, as this can be a sign of dehydration.
Step 3
Invest in quality, properly-fitted running shoes. Visit a specialty running store and purchase running shoes that are designed for your foot shape, pronation and individual needs (such as neutral-cushioned, stability and motion control styles). Remember that running shoes are only good for 250 to 500 miles. Running in shoes with worn-in, weathered materials can promote injuries.
Step 4
Know the rules of the road. Runners who take to the streets should be aware of basic running safety outside. Always wear reflective gear, run on the side of the road with oncoming traffic and ensure a high visibility at all times. Use a sidewalk, if one is available. Be alert to your surroundings at all times. Additionally, consider leaving the iPod at home, as music can hinder awareness during a run. Plan training runs during the daylight hours and run in populated places (such as parks and neighborhood roads) to increase safety.
Step 5
Leave valuables at home. Remove fine jewelry and watches before running to prevent robbery, keep yourself safe and protect your treasured pieces.
Step 6
Vary your routine. Don't run the same route at the same time every day. Rotate familiar indoor and outdoor routes, cross-training opportunities and weight training sessions. Run some days early in the morning and others before dusk. Not only will you challenge yourself and improve fitness levels, you will deter potential observers.
Step 7
Remember the buddy system. Prevent potential attacks by running with a friend or a dog in familiar areas. As an added fitness bonus, a training partner can increase running motivation and training challenges. Should you encounter someone suspicious while out on a run, trust your intuition and move away from the area.
Step 8
Dress for the weather by wearing appropriate running gear. For example, if it's hot and sunny outside, lather on waterproof SPF lotion, throw on a wide-brimmed visor and wear a hydration pack. Avoid wearing clothes made from cotton. Instead choose materials that wick moisture from the skin.

Tips & Warnings

 
Carry identification on you at all times (including known allergies and blood type). Consider bringing a small whistle with you when running outside. Take a self-defense class to compliment your running training program and increase safety.
 
Carry identification on you at all times (including known allergies and blood type).
 
Consider bringing a small whistle with you when running outside.
 
Take a self-defense class to compliment your running training program and increase safety.
 
Never run alone at night or in unpopulated areas. Run outside in familiar places. Consider carrying a cell phone in a fanny pack with a list of primary contact phone numbers. Notify someone of your running route before embarking on a training session. Call 911 or the police immediately, should you encounter danger while out running.
 
Never run alone at night or in unpopulated areas.
 
Run outside in familiar places.
 
Consider carrying a cell phone in a fanny pack with a list of primary contact phone numbers.
 
Notify someone of your running route before embarking on a training session.
 
Call 911 or the police immediately, should you encounter danger while out running.

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