You’ve heard of the “runner’s high,” but avid runners also experience a “runner’s low” if they go too long between runs. Covid-19 continues to thwart plans across the country, and runners are no exception. You may miss some in-person races, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to get outdoors and do what you love as long as you’re healthy, and there is no shelter in place orders. As you prepare for your next jaunt, take a look at these handy-dandy tips we’ve compiled just for you. Why? Because we like you!
General Safety Precautions for Runners and Joggers
- Carry identification.
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but bad things happen. Should you be injured or nonresponsive, first responders will be able to identify you if you’re ID is tucked away. If possible, include any pertinent medical information and blood type. Your mom said to tell you to wear clean underwear, too, but that’s up to you.
- Take your cell.
Loading yourself down with ID, keys, phones, water, and more can seem cumbersome. However, it is 2020, and you never know when a fire tornado or murder hornet swarm may appear. It’s always a good bet to carry a means of communication with you in case of an emergency. But also, your phone’s location finder could come in handy should, God forbid, anything happen to you.
- Go with your gut.
If a person, group, trail, or situation raises your spidey senses, take heed, and avoid the potential risk. Can intuition be wrong? Sure. But science demonstrates that this idiom is rooted in truth. As a matter of fact, it’s good practice to avoid running in desolate places, late at night, or too close to bushes or parked vehicles where someone could be lurking. Here’s another idiom that pairs with the phrase “go with your gut” — well, at least in this scenario: better safe than sorry!
- Practice runner etiquette.
Follow the rules of the road (or trail or park or wherever you run) to keep yourself and others safe. Communicate your presence when approaching or passing people, but be kind because, you know, you’re a human, and so are they, and the world needs more kindness.
- Run against traffic.
Bicyclists should ride with traffic while runners run against traffic. Facing approaching traffic allows you to see what’s coming your way and, ideally, react to a hazard such as a car crossing over the line. You may not have lightning-quick reflexes, but your limbic system is pretty smart. Without seeing a potential trigger, though, you leave yourself with no opportunity to react at all.
- Be aware.
Awareness is a good practice in all situations, and you can hone your skill while running. Look, you live in the Twilight Zone right now. Is it okay to say that out loud? Be present and aware by paying attention to what’s going on around you. Also, consider not wearing headphones.
- Take your dog.
Your pooch needs exercise, too. Also, dogs are notorious for their intuition. If you don’t trust your gut, maybe your dog’s will do the trick. The bigger, more protective dog you have, the more this qualifies as a safety tip.
- Wear reflective material when dark.
We know. Duh, right? The list wouldn’t be complete without its inclusion, though, and we’re all about inclusion here.
- Be safe in the heat.
Wear light-colored clothing and sunscreen when running outdoors, and don’t run outdoors if the temperature is above 98.6 degrees, especially if there is high humidity. Doing so increases your risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Remember Martin Lawrence? Don’t be Martin.
Instead of ten tips, we’re giving you nine, plus a bonus. Here it is:
Bonus: Covid-19 and Running Trivia
True or False? Can Covid-19 be spread through sweat?
Okay, you should be thoroughly stretched and warmed up by now. What are you waiting for? Why are you still here? Run!
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