Proactive Mindset – Safe Running

Running can be a lot of fun. Running can also be a risky venture where every step is fraught with peril and catastrophe. Sounds dramatic, eh? I am being slightly hyperbolic, but frankly I think this is a topic most runners don’t give enough thought or consideration. It typically takes many years of running before someone ‘gets it’ and starts to apply common sense safety to their running lifestyle. Below are some key things you should give serious thought to – not to spoil or hype the fear, but rather be prepared and aware. Trust me, it actually allows a more zen-like philosophy and being in the moment with earthly concerns tabled.

  1. Know your surroundings. This seems too simple and obvious to post, but it’s a major consideration. Have you really thought about where you are running? Do you really know the area? Is it somewhere you have driven through and therefor assume everything is the same on the sidewalk? Being on sidewalk, exposed and moving much slower is altogether different. Do you know if there is a neighbor that lets their pit-bull roam free? Have you checked the police blotter to see if there is a frequency of muggings in that area?
  2. iPods/MP3s – It seems like 97% of the folks I see running have those white ear buds hanging from their head. I’m included in this group. Be smart about your volume level. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve come up behind on the sidewalk or trail, shouted to them that I’m passing on the left and they are just meandering around because they cannot hear me. That is dangerous. Change that from a friendly runner trying to pass to a dangerous thug looking to score a nice Nano iPod, or worse.
  3. Crossings – Streets, driveways, cross-walks: There a million ways to get hit by a car (to read a small smattering of these grim stories click here, here or here). The worst is by being presumptuous that you have ‘right of way.’ That argument will surely hold up in court, but it is of little use to you if it is your attorney and family members settling a wrongful death suit.

Extreme? Over the top? I think not. I’m lucky; I have applied these basics over the years and still have come close to getting hit by a car on numerous occasions. I’ll blog more about this topic at some other time, but let me leave you with a few key bits and pieces –, ICE and Situational Awareness (I know, it is commonly used in military jargon, but the concept is sound and works here as well). Let me turn it around and pose it to you this way – do any of the above create a major inconvenience for you? And if so, do the risks out-weigh the rewards? Is the risk mitigation minimal (the answer is YES)?

Good luck, keep running and get those feet on the road.


About Feet on the Road
Avid runner, looking to share what I've learned from trial and error.

One Response to Proactive Mindset – Safe Running

  1. the dawn says:

    Thanks for stopping by my neck of the woods! You’re absolutely right, safety and awareness are huge when out there logging all the miles. Thanks for the great tips and reminders.

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