URBAN RUNNING FOR BEGINNERS
Running in the heart of a city can be very different in comparison to’ running in a quiet neighbourhood or in a park. The scenery can be an obstacle in its own right, and there are potential dangers that lurk literally around every corner. Fortunately, if you know how to navigate them, running in the city can be a great way to stay in shape.
The city is a living, breathing place that’s filled with potential hazards for runners. So it’s doubly important that you plan out every aspect of your run before you go, instead of taking off on a whim.
The most important step is to watch out for, “danger spots” within your area of the city. “Danger spots” are unpopulated areas with poor visibility where someone could easily attack you. Use Google Maps or a running map tool to carve a trail you know will keep you away from danger spots. If you’re not sure, map it out, then take a drive or walk with a buddy to scout it out.
Location isn’t the only thing that matters: consider the time of day you’re going to run, and try to avoid times with heavy pedestrian and car traffic. When there are fewer pedestrians walking around, you have fewer obstacles to dodge on the sidewalk. When there are fewer cars driving around, it’s easier to see the road (and you’re less likely to get hit). Additionally, avoid highly congested streets. You’ll breathe in less car exhaust when you’re gasping for air on that third kilometer. So when you plan out your run, consider running in the early morning, or after the evening rush hour when there are fewer cars and people on the road. Just make sure you still stick to areas with open visibility.
FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES TO MAKE URBAN RUNNING EASY
- Keep your distance from the curb or road as much as you can
- Wear bright colours or even reflectors (especially at night)
- Plot the safest route possible
- Take the right gear with you
- Personal identification of some kind (ID, driver’s license, etc.)
- Pertinent medical information (medical conditions, allergies, etc.)
- A couple dollars for emergency water, food, or a bus ride (stick it in your shoe if you have to)
- Consider running without headphones (or keep the volume low)
- Consider running with a buddy (especially at night)
- Alter your route regularly so bad people don’t know where you’ll be
- Don’t share too much information about where you’re running on social media
- Consider taking self-defence classes
- Carry mace or a pepper spray
- Tell someone that you trust where you’re going
- Run on the “correct” side of the road
- Approach intersections and streets with caution
- Be courteous when passing people on the sidewalk
- Run single file if you’re running with someone else, or at least go single file when approaching other people
- Stick to the right and pass on the left, just like you’re a car on a road
- Alert pedestrians when you are passing them with simple “on your left” or “excuse me”
- Trust your instincts (most of the time)
27 Feb, 2017
Health, Running, Women