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!