The Marathon Series: Safety When Running

Wednesday 24 December 2014 by

High vis vest, Running, Marathon, Fitness, Trainers

Welcome back to week four of my Marathon Series, as I blog my way to a marathon – from beginner to 26.2 miles. This week, we’re talking about safety.

If you’re out running on the roads, then you’re going to have to abide by the usual Highway Code rules – and a good dose of your own common sense. But there are some things to note when running that are slightly different that you should be aware of, especially during these dark evenings.

Visibility

Running in the dark? Get a high-vis vest and some brightly-coloured running kit, because you’re going to want to be seen. Choose lamp-lit areas, but if you know there are points when you’re in the dark, get a head torch. It might look stupid, but you’ll appreciate it when others can see you (and you can see where you’re going).

Music

Personally, I would really not recommend listening to music when you’re running. But if you are going to listen to music, make sure it’s quiet enough to hear what’s going on around you. Even better, only put one earphone in.

Running in pairs

If you don’t feel comfortable running on your own, find a running group or partner to go out with – there’s safety in numbers, plus some extra motivation when you need it! Try your local parkrun to meet fellow runners, and to give you a good idea of what you’re looking for in a training partner.

Tell someone

This predominantly applies to the fact that if you get injured and need help, you’re going to want someone to know where to get you. But try to tell someone when you’re going for a run – how long you’ll be and where you’re going (even if it’s only a rough idea). If it’s a text to a friend, don’t forget to text them when you get back though, otherwise they’ll be calling the police to report you as missing!

Paying attention to your body

So it’s probably less about personal safety than personal health, but pay attention to your body. It is not safe to run with an injury – especially one that causes a sharp pain or is a persistent injury every time you run. If you do some real damage and you’re miles from home, it’s no fun limping back (trust me). And if it gets really bad, it could put the chutzpah on your running for good.

It all sounds scary and makes running seem as if there are a lot of rules, but basic safety is key to make sure you’re a successful runner and there are no dangerous mishaps along the way. Most safety tips really are just common sense, so if your instinct is that something doesn’t feel right or you ought to do something, trust that instinct. Before moving to London, I had a running partner, but now it’s mostly on my own so I’m definitely more aware of what’s going on around me. Plus, I’m always on the lookout for some running buddies!

Do you have any safety tips for running?

Don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on, using the hashtag #HoBFitness. And check back next week to talk about when it all goes wrong.

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1 Comment

  1. Loralei Haylock

    Not a safety tip, but you should try Hampstead Heath parkrun if it’s nearby. Hardest parkrun I’ve ever done – and I’ve done quite a few now! it’s like an Escher Staircase. Got to be good for the marathon training 🙂

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