Guest post by: #TeamWearsafe Ambassador, Jennifer K.
I have a confession. You know how people fall in love with running because of being outside? Nature. Fresh air. Going somewhere on your own two feet – all that good stuff.
Well, I fell in love with running on a treadmill. Something about the cathartic thudding away on the treadmill gave me exactly the sanity I needed to conquer the day. And so I stayed glued to a treadmill for a long time! And I was happy! However, when I signed up for my first half marathon, I knew I needed to get some practice out on the roads. I think it was one of the first times I was out running near my college campus when I was flagged down by a police officer.
“Miss, you need to be running the opposite direction.” Wait, what? Was I not allowed to go this way? Did he know I was a college student and was, in fact, allowed to leave campus? He must have seen the stricken look on my face, because he further explained that it was safer to run against the traffic, not with it.
And with that, my dear friends, let me share with you my rules of running on the roads:
1. Obviously, run against traffic.
That said, be aware of when you are on a blind curve for approaching traffic.
2. Assume drivers are on their cell phones/looking down.
I know we shouldn’t have to, but it is a fact of life that we do have to assume this. I live near a school, and so often parents who have dropped off their kids are edging out of the driveway and into traffic, they are looking down at their phone and start to pull into traffic. They never even see that I’m RIGHT there. So I assume that none them see me.
3. Use cross walks — when you can
Use cross walks. If you are crossing a road, use the cross walk, but again – don’t assume cars will stop for you.
4. Say thanks!
It’s always nice to give a thank you wave to a driver who waves you through, or who waits for you. You never know – maybe they are a runner too!
5. Be seen.
Wear bright colors, and if running in darker times of the day, wear and head lamp and reflective gear.
6. Be aware.
In general – you need to be able to notice if a car or person seems to be following you.
7. Listen smart.
If you like to run with music, consider taking one earbud out, or running with the music on a low volume. A lot of earbuds also have a non-noise cancelling option – so check if yours have that.
8. Be courteous.
The rules go both ways, so you should be courteous to others out on the sidewalk. If you are running faster than someone walking, or someone with a dog or stroller, give them a wide berth and be polite when you are passing them.
9. Don’t litter!
Do not litter! Take your gels, gus and various other wrappers with you.
10. Selfie appropriately.
As you might be able to tell from my Instagram, I’m all about getting that post-run snap, but make sure you do it away from the road and busy traffic. Don’t be that guy walking backwards into the road trying to get the right shot.
Running out on the roads is a lot of fun and one of my favorite ways to see a new city. I hope my tips help you enjoy the roads too!
Check out more running tips from Jennifer on her blog, J Bird Runs, & on her socials!