Running in the city is always fraught with caution and danger if you are not attentive and careful. Nandini Reddy talks about how you can use small tips and tricks to ensure you have a safe run.
Runners choose different times of the day for their daily burst of energy. Some prefer mornings while others prefer evenings. We do not have access to parks and pathways to run all the time. In the Western nations, people wait for summers and spring to run but in a tropical country like India most people are waiting for the winters. Outdoor runs in the winters are pleasant and the added motivation because of the weather cannot be ignored. Most of us run on roads and accidents and mishaps are likely to happen if we are not careful. A few tips to ensure you are safe when you are running:
Always wear bright clothes. Those neon runners’ shirts are made for a reason! If you want to resist the bright colours then you should look for wearable reflective tapes. Stick them onto your back and front so that if you are running in low light, foggy conditions or in the rain.
Run Facing Traffic
Intersections are the most common places of accidents and runners tend to be hit more from behind than in front. So one way to keep an eye on cars potentially turning into intersections you are crossing is to run facing traffic.
Don’t get distracted
Ensure that your eyes are always on the road. Do not reach for your phone and ensure all notifications are switched off on your phone. If you like listening to music then keep the volume low or use only one ear bud, so that you can always be alert.
Track you run when alone
We have an immense amount of technology available today. Track you run through an app that can share your location with friends or family. This will be of great use even for emergency services to reach you if required.
Try new routes
Don’t get into a monotony of running the same route every day. Try different routes and never set a pattern that can be predicted by a potential perpetrator.
Women runners everywhere face harassment. If you feel unsafe running alone then join a runners group or find a buddy who can run with you. Remember that while you can run on most route, sexism may not be absent on them. But finding a buddy to run might prove more helpful that trying to deal with it alone.
Carry your phone
Always have your phone with you. Don’t carry it strapped on your arm because it is likely to get snatched up by thieves on bikes and this has happened a lot of times. Instead carry it in a pouch at the waist or a holder in front. The phone can come to our rescue in emergencies.
Sometimes, bad things still happen even when you take all of the precautions outlined above. But these tips can help you stay on the defensive and prevent some of the worst incidents while out running. In short be aware of your surroundings, listen to your instincts and be prepared. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Listen to that squeamish sensation in your stomach, stop, look around and find the quickest exit to safety.