It's winter, depending on where you live it may be colder than normal. The conditions may be icy, wet and different than your used to running on. So today, I wanted to share some winter running safety tips that I use.
Run Against Traffic
Sidewalks may be covered in snow and ice, and may not be able to be traveled on safely, which forces more runners to have to run on the road itself. If you find yourself running on a road, you should always make sure you are running against traffic. So you can see what is coming at you, in case you need to move quickly to get out of the way.
Wear Bright Colors
A lot of people think darker colors in the winter are better because they help you stand out a little against the snow, that isn't exactly true. Winter drivers are a little snow blind, and sometimes can't see the person in black. But brighter and yes I am talking some neon's (I know the shame, LOL) can actually be far more beneficial to you to be seen by a driver than darker colors.
Avoid Running in the Dark on the Streets
Let's face it, night running is dangerous any time of year. But in the winter it is even more dangerous especially if the roads are icy. Drivers are putting all their concentration on the roads to be safe, they may not notice you as they may normally in better conditions. So if you have to run at night, invest in vests with lights, or reflective gear and avoid the streets and stick to the sidewalks and pay attention at all road crossings. Or even better, head to a local track.
Avoid listening to music
If you are running on the street, or if you are going to be coming to intersections and will be crossing them. You need to be more focused. Why? Well, winter drivers are the most unsafe drivers out there. Not only because they refuse to hang up on their cell phones. But there attention is focused on avoiding sliding off roads or the other road conditions.
Your the one that needs to be the most alert. You should assume ever driver can't see you, and isn't paying attention. If you are lost in thought in your music, you could miss stopping or getting out of the way from a distracted driver who has their concentration elsewhere.
Instead save the music for area's that require less of your attention.
Make Sure You Do Get Some Outdoor Running In
Why is this a category? Well I will tell you. Many runners training in the winter are going to be running early spring road races. If you spend the entire winter indoors, your muscles will weaken, you'll be less conditioned from the softer surfaces and more accident prone when you get out onto a harder surface. Especially if you don't ease or gradually get back into the harder surfaces.
So if you want to safely train through the winter and you have spring races coming up. You should definitely be running outdoors at least once or twice each week to keep your body properly conditioned.
You've probably seen the ID tags, you can put them on your shoe. A necklace or bracelet. No matter which you get, you should have one on you. It should have your name, your address, an emergency contact number or two. Any allergies or serious medical conditions you have. Some also put their blood type on it.
Because if something happens to you, you pass out, you get hit or seriously injured where you can't respond. If you have no ID on you, it could take emergency personal a very long time to figure out who you are and contact your family
Avoid Too Much Conversation With Strangers
You may find this tip strange, and may be wondering why I am suggesting it on winter running safety. It's true, this is a year round tip.
But winter is a different time, you find someone new on the road or trail, you're colder your mind isn't quite as quick to think and sharp. Things start to slip and before you know it, you may have just told a stranger too much about yourself.
That you run on that trail/road all the time alone, that you run in the area every Monday etc... Passing out too much information even to a stranger that seems friendly enough can be extremely risky. If you don't know them, don't give them any personal information, and definitely do not share your running schedule with them.
Additionally, getting in conversation with the wrong person and you could find yourself having a hard time getting away from someone that later you find makes you uncomfortable.
I share this, because I made this mistake earlier this year, and let me tell ya it was a very uncomfortable situation.
Those are a few of my tips, what are some of yours?