Running on a 45mph road is tough. Cars hardly move over for you. They are almost always speeding. They just don’t seem to care about you. Being a road runner myself, I’m not one of those people. I will move over, and I will slow down. I know how rough it is, and I know that running in the grass isn’t always an option. Well, it’s also common courtesy….
However, I nearly almost hit a woman this morning driving home. Why do you ask? BECAUSE SHE WAS WEARING ALL BLACK. At least she was on the right side of the road! I get road running, but please please please don’t make it harder than it has to be. Yes, it’s cold, but goodness gracious, why do you think they make neon running clothes? For safety! Cars going 45+ are extremely not likely going to be able to see you running on the side of the road in entirely black. You blend in more – I had a hard time seeing this lady because she looked like a tree or a trashcan. Of course she was moving, but as you know, when you’re moving fast it’s hard to tell what else is moving when it’s slower than you. I don’t even need to explain this with science. It’s common sense. Why do you think construction workers, EMTs (at night), and many others wear neon vests? It’s not to look cool; It’s so they can be safe while still doing their job.
I love neon workout gear for many reasons, but my top two are because they are fun, and people can find me. Since not everyone feels this way, and I’ve seen some road running no-nos in the last few days, I decided to make a list of “5 Common Sense Tips When Road Running.”
1. Wear bright clothing: White, Neon. You can wear black pants, but people need to be able to see you apart from the scenery. It might be also helpful to where bright running shoes.If it’s cold outside, try to find some type of neon clothing that you can include. It’s always helpful to have at least a bright neon light jacket.
2. Run on the side of opposing traffic. So typically it’s the left side of the road. This is for music and non-music runners. You can see cars coming and move appropriately if needed. This also allows for cars to see you. Yes, cars will see you if you run with traffic, however, you don’t know if they are exactly tailing you, driving past you, or whatever. You may also not know that they are there. If you need to run with traffic, try to run in the grass, away from the road for your own safety.
3. Be wise with music. I am a music runner when the setting permits If I happened to get lost, or I need to run with traffic, I will not listen to music. It allows you to be alert, and hear everything going on around you. What happens if you are running with traffic and a car just got into a wreck? You can’t hear the preliminary pieces to get out of the way; you may get hit yourself. I do listen to music when I run opposing traffic, but it is lowish and I can still hear everything around me. The only time I run with music loud is on the treadmill or racing. You need to be able to trust your surroundings.
4. Watch where you are going. You cannot be oblivious to anything. You need to be alert, attentive and able to adapt. AAA – triple A. This goes for road running and just running in general. Especially for girls. If you are running, usually you’ll have music on and wearing a ponytail. Do you know how easy it is for someone to grab the ponytail from behind and restrain you, when you couldn’t hear them?
5. I.D. For a while, I didn’t even run with my phone. No one knew who I was, or that I had even gone out for a run (except those I told).So if anything had happened to me, no one would know until it was too late and hours later. Since I have increased my distances, that has changed. Before I’d run 15 to 40 minutes, now, I’m at a minimum of an hour. I began to run with my phone, and then within one week I was tailed twice at 6am. Nothing happened because I was alert and switched my route to be more populated, but it still scared me. I now run with an ID bracelet that looks like a watch. Granted, an ID bracelet isn’t going to help if I were kidnapped. But it can help if someone hit me, and I couldn’t call anybody. It seems cheesy and weird, but I actually like it. And for some insane reason, it makes me feel safe. You can buy different ID items at Road ID ; they are really good.
I know this won’t help everyone, and that everyone won’t follow it. But it’s just sensible to do these to help get the most out of your run. Nothing sucks worse than going on a run and never completing it because you forgot to wear neon…