Welcome to your guide to running safety! It’s important, as a male or female runner, to keep yourself safe when outdoors, and protect yourself, particularly when running solo. Have a read through the following topics, 6 in total, many of which are really simple to implement in practice. Most of these topics are also relevant to the keen walkers amongst us!
It’s important to make sure you plan your run ahead of time. Before setting off, knowing what you are doing and where you are going, really helps to keep you motivated and stay on track. It’s beneficial to tell a loved one where you are going and how long you will be! If using a GPS live tracker such as Map My Run or Strava, you can set this up so others know where you are running in real time!
To quote Kenyan great Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder for the Marathon –
"To win is not important. To be successful is not even important. How to plan and prepare is crucial"
For everyone new to running, it is recommended you get your running gait analysed online. You can also do your own self-analysis at home. Click here for more details.
After analysis, all you need to get started are a good pair of running shoes that suit your running gait/style. Shoes such as the ASICS GT1000 or Brooks Adrenaline GTS series are affordable and offer great support for those that over-pronate and are realistically a great option for the vast majority of the population. For those that have a more efficient running style, you will have the option of choosing a wider variety of shoes including neutral and more minimalist shoes.
Ideas to Prevent Injury
Even a good pair of running shoes that suit your running gait may not be enough to prevent the injuries associated with running in the outdoor trails or on roads! It is highly recommended that you do some form of strength training at least a couple of times per week. Click Here to see a video demonstration of some great easy and simple exercises to do. Building this into your routine will massively improve your overall strength and assist you in your journey to remain pain free when you run! Many running related injuries (such as back and knee problems), are associated with those who stay seated for too long and/or have a bad posture.
It is recommended you ensure that you take regular breaks when working/studying and focus on correcting your posture if you find yourself hunched over your desk on a daily basis!
How to Combat Harassment
Harassment when running can take many different forms and involve both male and female runners. It’s important to have a strategy in place in order to combat this. Following these steps will be massively beneficial to you:
2) Stay mindful
4) Think of another situation
You can read more about general harassment when running here and the 4 steps to combat this are mentioned above.
It’s also important to recognize that you cannot control what others will/will not do. Click here for a great podcast available on running harassment. This may be of particular interest to solo female runners! According to a Runners World survey, 84% of female runners were harassed in some shape or form, see more here
Traffic and Visibility
Run against traffic: Running against traffic gives drivers time to see you far enough in advance, especially on roads with bends and curves. It is great to get out on the country roads, and you will be perfectly safe as long as you use common sense. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you are aware of your surroundings. Using earphones/headphones are great for motivational purposes, but there may be occasions where you should only use one earbud or remove them completely in order to stay safe, particularly at night time!
Be visible and wear bright-coloured or reflective clothing: it’s important to be seen by others, particular in the winter months. Neon apparel is both fashion-forward and useful. The brighter, the better. Reflective clothing is recommended for both early morning and late night workouts.
Running With Others
Running in a pair or group is massively beneficial to your overall safety, motivation and commitment to pursue your training.
Did you know that our College has a running club that is only open to students at City of Glasgow College? Note that our club has moved completely online for the month of January due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19. If you are interested in doing some fun weekly challenges, and being provided with a structured training sessions (1 per week), you can join our Facebook and/or Strava groups! Click here for more details.
Have you ever thought about joining your local jogging/running club? You can visit your closest jogging group via the Jog Scotland website. You can search for your closest running club via the Scottish Athletics website. Note that the majority of these jogging groups/running clubs will not be meeting in the physical sense at the moment due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19.