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Thursday November 27th 2014

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Play it Safe—Running Reminders

By Sarah McCartan

While fluorescent clothing, headlamps, and other accessories exist to make you visible to cars in dim lighting, darkness isn’t the only threat to safety this season. Here are a few reminders to help you play it safe on the road this fall—safety reminders even the most seasoned of athletes tend to forget.

• Identify Yourself
For the very same reason every responsible pet owner should put visible identification on a pet, every runner, or person for that matter, should carry the same visible identification, strapped to the body.

Roadid.com sells personalized, engraved identification bracelets and allows you to sync this information with an app on your phone. Speaking of cellular devices, if you run with a phone in hand, or on body—and even if you don’t—it is pertinent to label an emergency contact as ICE, so that “in the case emergency,” the appropriate contact can be readily notified by a third party.

• Un-plug
Once you decide to plug in, and run with music for the first time, it can quickly became habitual and a steadfast ritual. While this idea of “tuning out” is inviting after a long day, or to power through difficult runs, it can become a safety concern—especially if running solo. Tuning out, blocks you from hearing important sounds, including but not limited to dog barks, car horns, and yelling—all possibly telling of imminent harm.

Rather than tuning out, try tuning in this season to listen to your breathing, focus on each step and have heightened situational awareness. If you select not to break away from your tunes completely, try removing one bud first and turning the volume down.

•Mix It Up
It seems simple, but it’s amazing how easily we get set in routines that are just that—too convenient and too easy. Plain and simply put, it makes it far too easy for someone to track your pattern. Don’t invite trouble. So seriously, take it seriously, and mix it up. Running at the same time, same place, and for the same distance everyday not only isn’t the greatest for your safety, it isn’t the greatest for your psyche, and it doesn’t necessarily promote improvement.

•Partner Up
Running solo can be empowering, freeing, liberating, motivating, and any other synonym for the greatest thing ever that you can dream up—especially if you want to just be alone with yourself and your surroundings. That said, there are many instances in which it’s really not okay to run alone. Be it an isolated, dimly lit location, or even a high traffic area.

Not only is picking a partner prime for training and goal setting purposes and constant motivation, it is key for safety. If you can’t decide on a single partner or have yet to convince your close group of friends how magical running can be, Running Wild can direct you to all the countless group runs in town—and plays host to quite a few of their own.