11 Top Safety Tips When Running + the Best Safety Gear
Safety when running should be the top concern for every runner.
When you head out the door to run a few miles, are you thinking about the best ways to keep yourself safe on the run? Have you got the right running safety gear?
Be proactive by having the knowledge and the equipment to keep yourself out of harm’s way.
11 Top Safety Tips When Running
Remember the following safety tips each time you head out for a run.
✅ Be Sure Someone Knows You’re Out for a Run
By letting someone know you’re out running, you ensure that someone expects you to make contact with them when you’re done.
For many runners, this might seem unnecessary, but you can never be too safe while running.
If you live alone and have no one who will physically see you return, find a friend or family member you can call or text before you leave and again when you return.
✅ The Best Way to Listen to Music While Running – Don’t Use Headphones!
Like many runners, you might enjoy listening to music or podcasts while running.
Do you wear headphones or earbuds that limit your ability to hear what’s around you? This can be very dangerous.
When you limit your capacity to hear, you might not know that there’s a car backing out of a driveway you’re about to run past. You might not hear the dog running after you. If a thunderstorm is rolling in, you might not hear the crack of thunder warning you to find shelter immediately.
Instead of hearing restrictive headphones, consider the incredible, lightweight personal Bluetooth speaker – the Noxgear 39g.
✅ Find a Running Buddy or Group to Run With
If you have friends who like to run or know of a local run group, consider joining to up your safety.
When running in a group, you can avoid the many safety issues that might arise when running alone. If you run alone and become injured, find yourself lost on your running route, or someone starts following you, you might not have someone close to help.
Running in a group has great benefits. There’s always someone who will have your back.
✅ Don’t Always Run the Same Route
While you’re outside enjoying your run, keep in mind that someone could be watching you.
You don’t want a stranger with bad intentions to catch on to the time and place you run. Especially if you always run alone. If possible, you should change up running routes regularly.
If you can run with a group running the same route becomes less of a concern.
✅ Pre-Determine Your Running Route
Some runners like heading out and finding their running route on the fly.
That’s okay sometimes, but for best safety practices when running, it’s best to know the route you’re going to run. This helps you to know if any areas might cause unsafe scenarios.
Being familiar with your surroundings is always a good idea.
✅ Run On the Sidewalk When You Can
Running on a sidewalk or a greenway means you should be relatively safe from vehicles.
If you come to a place where there’s no sidewalk, and you must continue to run, always run on the shoulder of the road facing the passing vehicles. This allows you to see what’s coming your way and jump out of harm’s way should an issue occur.
✅ Dress Appropriately for the Weather
You might not imagine clothing as a safety concern, but it is.
If you head out on a hot day for a long run wearing too much clothing, dark clothing, or non-moisture-wicking clothing, you could experience a heat-related illness such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Likewise, if you’re running on a very frigid winter day and you’re not wearing enough layers, you could encounter frostbite or hypothermia.
Wearing the proper running clothes is an invaluable way to stay safe when running.
✅ Stay Hydrated – Even On Cold Days
Hydration when running is essential.
Dehydration can result in a lot of issues. If you’re running while dehydrated, you risk problems from mild confusion to heat stroke.
Many runners find themselves adequately thirsty on runs when the weather is warm or hot. However, most don’t recognize the importance of being well-hydrated on colder days.
Although you might not feel as thirsty, proper hydration is necessary for staying safe while running on cool days.
✅ Have a Way to Contact Others
Do whatever is required to have the ability to call for help if needed.
In the modern day, this could mean carrying your cell phone or your smartwatch. Although some runners like to run light and take nothing extra, it’s better to be safe by having a way to contact someone for help.
✅ Follow the Rules of the Road
If you’re someone who runs near the road rather than on a trail or greenway, be aware of the road rules.
It may feel inconvenient to wait for your turn to cross the street, but you’re better off safe than sorry. Also, stay within the crosswalks. These areas are purposefully marked for you to cross the road at the safest spot.
You should wait for the walk signal and make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
✅ Run In the Daylight Instead of At Night
This tip is a good one to follow, but it’s not doable for many runners.
You can probably understand the concerns when running at night. Limited vision, the inability for motorists to see you, not noticing others who may be walking or running on your path.
These are all real concerns that could come up when running at night.
If you must run in low-light conditions, consider investing in a light-up running vest to improve your visibility.
What Are the Safety Concerns When Running at Night?
Running at night increases the need to act on your running safety.
Some things runners must consider when running at night include:
✔️ Being seen by motorists
✔️ Being able to see the ground below you
✔️ Being aware of your surroundings at all times
Although these concerns exist in the daytime, experiencing these issues without proper running safety gear at night could be detrimental.
Safety Gear When Running at Night
Sometimes running at night can’t be avoided.
Running an ultramarathon, training in the dead of summer, or having a unique work schedule, are legitimate reasons you could run before the sun comes up or after it’s set.
Staying safe while running at night means having the right gear. An answer to the question, “what do runners wear at night?” is simply reflective gear.
Why Should Runners Wear Reflective Gear?
To be seen by motorists, runners should consider wearing reflective running gear.
Reflective running gear is clothing and accessories that reflect light, usually from passing vehicles.
Nearly every clothing item a runner can wear has a version with reflective elements. Hats, jackets, shoes, you name it, and there’s likely an option you can buy with reflective properties.
What are alternatives to restocking your entire running wardrobe with reflective clothing and running gear?
One of the best options you can buy for nighttime running safety gear is a reflective running vest. This allows you to wear anything comfortable for running while still being seen.
But is there something even better when running in the dark?
You bet there is!
The Best Safety Gear When Running in the Dark
Beyond the nighttime darkness, you might also experience dark before dawn or visibility issues from foggy weather. So what’s a runner to do?
The Noxgear Tracer2 is the best way to be seen by motorists and others.
The Tracer2 lights up your entire upper body with bright LED lights. You’ll be noticeable from any direction and angle. In addition to the vivid lights, the vest itself is reflective.
It’s a win-win with this running vest.
This is a safety accessory that every runner must have.
Summary: Safety Tips When Running
Many runners leave the house each day without spending a moment to consider their safety when running. Although safety when running seems more of a concern at night, we should still be cautious in the daylight. Get yourself the best running safety gear to help make every run fun and safe!
This post was contributed by Amanda of Mae’s Miles and Music. As an avid marathoner and certified running coach, she helps new runners find their passion in the sport of distance running.
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