Safety should be at the forefront of runners' minds, especially outdoors. Stay safe by changing up your running route, telling someone where you’re going and always being aware of your environment. The right running safety gear is also a key element to a runner's safety. Here are a few essentials and why they're important.
Reflective Running Gear & Nighttime Running Lights
Even if you don't run at night, but especially if you do, reflective running gear is crucial. Remember that darkness doesn't just occur at night, motorists may also have difficulty spotting you on rainy days. Be aware of your surroundings, but help others be aware of you as well by making sure you are visible. That could mean wearing brightly colored clothing or better yet, gear with reflective properties. Look for reflective technology in elements such as the stitching on apparel items or the upper on running shoes. In the absence of or in addition to reflective gear, clip nighttime running lights onto the front and back of your top. The right reflective running gear is essential for outdoor runners.
Pockets and Carriers
Runners should always carry cash or a credit card, identification and a phone. Most runners generally carry keys as well, and some even have a medical ID and emergency contact information on them. It might seem inconvenient to carry all of these items, but with the right gear, you can be safe and comfortable. Most running apparel comes with functional pockets built in. Purchase clothes with magnet or zip-closure pockets to store necessary items.
Some runners might simply tie keys to their shoelaces while out on a run. However, consider the return trip. Bending down to retrieve keys when you get home could leave you in a vulnerable position. Instead, take advantage of key pockets that exist in many apparel items and accessories.
If you have a specific medical condition, wear a medical ID bracelet with the pertinent information, medications and your blood type, or put that information with your ID. A shoe wallet or waist pack is a good place to keep loose items such as cash and cards. It is also wise to have an emergency contact person, you can keep his or her information in your waist pack or even write it on the inside sole of your shoe. Put your mind at ease with a versatile carrier that can store all your safety items comfortably.
Take Care of Yourself
Remember, safety isn't just about visibility and incident preparedness, it's about taking care of yourself. Always dress appropriately for the weather conditions, and stay hydrated. It can be dangerous for your health to become too warm or too cold on a run. Also, on runs of an hour or more, you may have to carry fluids with you. In that case, choose a handheld or belt that is comfortable and has secure pockets for personal items.
Running safely takes a combination of the right mental attitude and the right running gear. Make your safety a priority, and invest in essential gear items to protect yourself.
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