What are the runners in the above photo missing? If you guessed ‘reflective gear’ then you should pat yourself on the back. Even the most veteran of runners can use a refresher on safety rules every once in awhile, so we have rounded up the five most important for you to remember on every. single. run.
1. Always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Carry a phone. There are pouches and armbands available to make this easier.
2. Don’t run with headphones. It makes it harder to hear cars, dogs and other people!
3. When run/walking on roads, always go against traffic. Stay as far to the side as you can. Never assume the cars can see you!
4. When running in the early morning or late at night, wear reflective clothing and lights. In the dark, a runner is only visible 100 feet away, which isn’t soon enough for a car to avoid hitting you. Reflective gear can be seen a quarter mile away and a light can be seen half a mile away by a driver.
5. If it hurts, stop. If you walk/run through pain, it can cause other injuries. Remember RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevation. If any issue crops up, take 48 hours off, and if it still hurts, see a medical professional.
Cari Setzler, a veterinarian who lives in Wonder Lake, Ill., is a running coach as well as a coaching instructor for the Road Runners Club of America, working with runners of all different abilities. To find a club to run with near you, visit rrca.org.