Hello everyone, I hope everyone is staying well. I can't quite believe that we're into 2021 now! Let's hope this year is better than 2020!
One of the things I've always been very aware of since becoming a runner is my safety, so today I thought I'd share with you some of my tips for staying safe, especially since the mornings/evenings are dark at the moment!
Firstly, tell someone where you're going. If you live with people let them know you're going and possibly how long you're going to be out. If you don't live with anyone drop someone a text to let them know and check in with them too when you've finished and are home safe.
Second, consider some kind of tracking service. With a live location friends and family can keep track of where you are. There are lots of services that provide tracking, such as Garmin, Strava, Pacer and even Whatsapp. With these trackers you can be sure that someone will know where you are. Not only this, but these may come in handy if you're taking part in a race and your friends/family have come along to support you and want to know where you are!
Third, stick to well used and well-lit places. For example, stick to roads, popular parks and trails. I know this one is probably a lot of personal preference, but when I'm out for a run I prefer to stick to the roads and places I know where there are going to be a lot of people. This is even more important when it's dark! But I totally understand this may be personal preference if you're a trail runner for example.
Consider investing in some high-vis clothing of sorts. Since it's my first autumn/winter of running in the dark evenings I bought myself some reflective clothing and it's reassuring to go out knowing that cars can see you! This said however, after a close call with a cyclist (who had no lights) riding high speed along the pavement I also invested in a small flashing running light that wraps around my arm. That way I can now be sure pedestrians/cyclists can see me too!
Finally, make sure you can hear around you. I know many people like to run or work out with music, this includes myself, but it is still important to be able to know what is going on around you. Something which I have started using recently are bone conducting headphones. With these they leave your ears clear so that you can hear around you all the time, such as people coming and cars passing. However, if running in the dark I leave these behind so I know I can hear around me all the time.
What are ways that you stay safe while out running? Do the dark autumn/winter evenings put you off going out?