Monday, January 12, 2009

Are You Running Safe?

Two women I regularly see at my health club greeted me recently saying they were leaving to run outside – by themselves. Initially, this was nothing unusual until I thought – maybe it’s not a good idea for them to run alone in the darkness of the 5 a.m. Des Moines sky.

I turned around to catch up with them and said, “How about if I run along?” Of course, they welcomed the company of a fellow runner.

I certainly don’t want to scare anyone. However, my point of telling this story is to offer a reminder that sometimes we can be safer in our running activities. There are often too many things we take for granted in this arena. So ask yourself sometimes – Should you be running with others? Do you have identification on your person? Do you need a cell phone? Can motorists see you based on what you’re wearing?

My friends and I discussed along our run how, even though we live a safe community, it’s probably not entirely smart for woman to run by herself in the darkness of a very early morning. If running at night or early morning, it’s generally a good idea for anyone to have a “buddy” running along. Two or more runners is a sure deterrent against any potentially dangerous situation.

Runners and bikers should always have some form of identification with them. I find the Road-id bracelet to be an effective form to use in my fitness activities (check them out on the web -- God forbid -- if you’re by yourself and something awful happens, how are others supposed to know who you are and how to contact your family if you’re incapable of providing that information?

Would you possibly need a mobile phone? Generally, if I’m headed to a remote area of some kind, I’m packing my mobile phone along. This is especially necessary for biking excursions where you may travel quite a distance into remote areas where you may need assistance.

If you’re running at dark, always make sure you have bright-colored gear allowing for motorists to see you. This is especially helpful in heavier traffic areas. Christine Luff recently wrote about some of the most up-to-date reflective gear available -- And here’s another article on running safety from --

With a little thinking ahead, we can all be safer in our fitness endeavors.


Anonymous said...

This feels like such a morbid topic to bring up, because nobody wants to really think about the possibilities of something bad happening. But unfortunately we all do need to be prepared as much as we can!

Robin said...

Thanks for the reminders, it's an important subject and one that's easy to forget about when you're in a hurry to head out the door. I do run by myself a lot, even after dark, because my schedule's often too crazy and unpredictable to coordinate with anyone else.

I do always go in a reflective jacket (Illuminite is my friend), with cell phone in one hand and pepper spray in the other, RoadID on my wrist and at least a couple of martial arts moves in my head ;-)