by Coach Jenni Nettik
As urban dwellers, many of us run several days a week on the city roads–even if it’s just so we can make our way to a park. There are a few things that all road runners should keep in mind to stay safe around the town.
1. Be alert: It always important to pay attention to your surroundings. Use your eyes and your ears to predict possible danger. Be particularly aware of blind alleys, driveways and curves–cars will always win.
2. Run against traffic: Many road runners prefer to run on the road rather than on the sidewalk because of ice, snow, people and the smoother surface. When running on a road, one should run against traffic so that oncoming cars are visible–that is, unless there’s a blind curve or something else that makes it safer to be on the other side. Remember, drivers aren’t expecting to see pedestrians in the street, so be alert and have a plan of how to get off the road quickly if needed. Also, keep in mind that roads are slanted for drainage, if possible, run far enough from the edge that you’re on a flat surface to avoid foot, knee and hip injuries.
3. Make eye contact: Drivers are often distracted behind the wheel or in hurry to get somewhere. Even if you have the right-away, make eye contact with the driver before stepping in front of a vehicle. As you’re crossing, a friendly wave doesn’t hurt.
4. Be seen: Wear bright colors, reflective gear or a headlamp when running in dim or dark conditions.
5. Follow traffic signs: It’s a bummer to get stopped at light when you’re in your groove, but getting hit by a car is worse. Cross streets at designated spots where vehicles are expecting to see pedestrians. Even if you have a green light or walk signal, give a quick glance over your shoulder to make sure a distracted driver hasn’t missed you.
What are your tips for running in the city?
Winter can be one of the hardest times to find your motivation to run. Frigid temperatures, dark nights, and icy conditions can all be running buzz-kills. Here are a few tips to help you keep fit in those long winter months:
1. Make a plan: Staying snug in your bed in the morning, or curled up on your couch after work may feel more inviting than stepping out into the cold. Picking out a spring race and planning a specific time and route for your daily runs makes it easier to follow through.
2. Find a buddy: A running partner can help keep you motivated and accountable. When you know someone else is counting on you to run, it is easier to lace up those shoes and head out the door.
3. Dress for warmer weather: One of the biggest mistakes in winter running is overdressing. A key thing to remember: running creates heat. If you step out the door and you feel warm, you have on too many clothes!
4. Hit the gym: For those of you who are truly cold intolerant, hit up the gym! You can log miles on the treadmill and get your strength-training in all at once.
5. Stay safe: Make sure you wear reflective gear and a headlamp to make yourself seen. And take it easy on the ice- small short steps will help prevent falls.
What other advice do you have for running in the winter?
by Coach Jenni Nettik
As woman runner, there are few important things to remember to help you stay safe while running–especially in the winter when the days are short.
1. Be alert: Pay attention to your surroundings while you’re running. Sorry, this means your eyes & ears–running with headphones takes away one of your senses. Only run with headphones when safety is not a concern. While running, observe the people around you on foot and in vehicles; if something or someone seems strange, move away or alter your path.
2. Find a running group: Does your neighborhood have a running club or training group? Training with others is a great way to avoid running by yourself in the dark winter months.
3. Don’t run in isolated areas alone: Think about where you run; will you see many other people? Can others see you? If not, save the run until a friend can join you.
4. Tell people where you’re running: Before you head out the door let someone know where you’re going; leave a note, send text or give call.
5. Bring a cellphone: It’s nice to be totally free while running, but if you’re alone considering bringing your phone. If you need help, it’ll only be a phone call away.
6.Trust your instincts: Listen to your gut and don’t be afraid to alter your route if something seems off–it’s better to be safe!
What else do you do to stay safe?