Please be aware of your surroundings! I only mention this because I was the girl who decided to become a runner and a week later found myself running through the “hood” in East Baltimore at night. Bad decision. Here are a couple of tips to help ensure you stay safe while pounding the pavement:
- Carry water, even on short runs and in cooler temperatures. Staying hydrated is vital not only to your running, but to your long term health. I am never without a water bottle! I keep one on me at all times!!
- If you are going to run at night, make sure you invest a running light or reflective gear. Both of these can be found at sporting good stores.
- While music can be a great motivator, don’t be distracted by your iPod. You need to make sure you are aware of traffic!
- Carry an ID with you (especially on long runs and races). This is extremely important if you would happen to have some type of medical emergency. I suggest making a copy of your driver’s license, health insurance card, and listing a few emergency contacts. You can fold it up and carry it in your pocket or race belt.
- Consider mapping out your route before you take off on a run. One good resource is Map My Run. This site will also calculate your distance and even suggest other routes for you to try!
- Always let someone know you are going running and how long you plan to be gone.
- In general it is considered safest to run on the same side of the road as on coming traffic. Use your best judgement and be aware of “blind curves”.
- Take precautions if you are experiencing back pain. For more back pain tips I highly recommend you take a look at Ease Back Pains.
Take Walk Breaks
When I first started running, I had this twisted perception that real runners don’t talk walk breaks. Starting out, I always viewed my run or race as a failure if I needed to take a walk break. After gaining some more experience I learned that virtually all runners take walk breaks at some point. Added bonus to using the walk run method: I truly believe that interval training is the #1 way to build your endurance and burn fat!