7 safety questions every runner should ask

2015-04-07 07:47


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Key questions to answer to keep as safe as possible when your running shoes hit the road.

What is around me?

Be aware of your surroundings. A common error among road runners is to run wearing earphones with loud music blocking out the world. This can be dangerous, not only because you may not hear a car coming, but also because it can encourage you to zone out. It’s important to remain alert: know who is behind you and be aware of potentially dangerous intersections or corners.

Who is with me?

If you’re new to the sport enlist a running buddy, or join a running club so you not only have company, but also get used to adapting your stride to being in a group. This will help you when you’re in the pack during your first marathon! A club will also be able to guide you on what a good beginner’s running programme to get going with if you’re just getting started.

Who am I?

Always carry identification, even if it’s just your name and a family member’s contact number stuck in your shoe. Ideally you’ll never need it but it can be a lifesaver if you get a knock on the head and are unable to tell anyone who you are.

Can I be seen?

Look at yourself through the eyes of a driver intent on getting to his destination. Are your clothes dull and blending into the surroundings? Ensure there are flourescent strips on your running gear and err on the side of bright, light garments. Don’t wear conspicuous expensive jewellery or flash fancy electronic gear about if you’re out on a public road.

Am I feeling strong?

You’re probably running at least partly for health and fitness reasons. Take care of the basics to make sure your run does you good.

•    Wear good shoes that don’t leave you with ankle or knee pain. Buy shoes from a sports store rather than a fashion outlet, as the assistants are more likely to be able to advise you about what’s right for your training routine.
•    Don’t try to go from couch to 10km in one day. Follow a sensible programme that helps you build your stamina.
•    Drink enough to satisfy thirst. If you’re doing a long run, you will probably need to drink along the way, but don’t overdo it.
•    If you have a pre-existing health condition, discuss your running programme with your medical professional so you are informed of any special precautions you need to take.
You’ll find loads more running health and safety tips on Arrive Alive.

Who knows where I am?

It’s a good idea to vary your route, but make sure someone knows where you’re going and more or less when you can be expected back. Whether you’re new to running or on the road regularly, download the Santam app for free onto your iPhone or Android device, and get into the habit of entering your route. You can empower your family and friends to watch over you and share your progress securely, by nominating them as a guardian.

Am I covered?

If you run with specialist gear such as a high-end heart rate monitor, activity tracker or GPS device, make sure that it is covered under your insurance policy. You may also need to specify coverage for your phone, in case it gets lost or stolen.

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