Good morning! Hope everyones week is going well!
This makes for the fourth edition of my Safety on the Run mini-series, to see part I, II, or III click here.
Who knew there were so many choices you can make to protect yourself as a runner?! Keep in mind: your safety is your own decision, and the best choice you can make is one that is based on your own environment and abilities!
As cooler weather is approaching, I know a lot more people will be heading out to the trails for their runs, as opposed to running indoors on the dreaded mill. I run outdoors all year long; but I know that is not the case for everyone, so I thought it’d be a good time to go over some safety tips for trail running.
Here are my tips for staying safe on trails, whether you’re running, hiking, or biking:
- Wear appropriate shoes and clothing. If you are going to be running in the dark, you may want to consider reflective gear. As far as shoes go, its best if you can buy them from an actual running store and let them know what type of terrain you are running on.
- Be aware of the weather and make plans for how this could effect your run. It may be nice out now, but if you’re running for close to or over an hour, that could easily change and you don’t want to get stuck.
- Obey traffic signals. Be mindful of the fact that a lot of trails cross over roads along the way. If you come to an intersection, know that although pedestrians typically have the right of way, oncoming traffic may not be paying attention to you; so take responsibility for your own safety and make sure the road is clear before crossing.
- Keep your head up and pay attention to your surroundings. Notice street signs, and look for mile markers. This will not only help if you get lost and need to find your own way back, but it can be helpful for telling others how to get to you if needed. If something happens and you need to be picked up by a friend or even call 9-1-1, you want to be able to give them a general idea of your location – a nearby mile marker should do the trick.
- Keep a safe distance from any animals you may come across. Check out this post about Florida Bears.
- If you are going to be driving to get the trailhead, there are some precautions you can take to protect your property. Of course, number one is to lock your car doors! Next, be sure to hide any belongings; put them in your trunk before you even arrive (keep in mind if you are hiding things once you are already parked, someone could be watching you). Finally, take your car key with you – keep it in a pocket or hidden in your sports bra or pocket!
Hopefully at least some of these tips are helpful to you! I love running outside, especially when it’s cooler. I also want to point out that you should take in your surroundings for the sheer joy and beauty of nature! If you are located in Seminole county check out the cross Seminole trail, and Paint the Trail. Even if you don’t live around here, you should check out the work on instagram.
Happy trails!!! :)
Question of the day:
Do you like running on trails? Do you prefer off the beaten path or paved trails?
Any safety tips you can think of that I left out?
Any questions about running safety I can try to help out with?
- 10 Essentials of Trail Running (sykose.com)
- Hit the Trails to Add Variety to Running Workouts (greatist.com)