On one of my recent treks along the bike path of the LA River, something happened to me that is an all-too familiar occurrence with other runners: narrowly escaped being run over by a disgruntled cyclist who later demanded I step off the path. Really? What happened to sharing the road? Especially if the cyclists are travelling in pairs (which happened to be the case that day). Needless to say, much like driving in Los Angeles the best offense is having a good defense. To help remind everyone what to be aware of while on the road, I looked up common safety rules in various running situations I thought would be helpful to share… Here are six rules that stood out to me as absolute musts:
Run against traffic – Street running. This was also a mandatory safety rule during the Ragnar open road relay. You want to make sure that you are able to clearly see traffic coming towards you which will prevent any sneaky cars hit you from behind.
No headphones – Street running. I’ll have to admit that I can’t run without music, so for anyone out there like me, just make sure that your volume is set to low so you are able to hear your surroundings. As with most safety rules, it’s important to know what’s going on around you and be aware.
Carry ID – Carrying an photo ID or Road ID bracelet to help people be able to identify you or contact others in case of an emergency.
Phone or Spare Change – I usually hide my cell phone in a fanny pack (don’t judge me, it’s a cool looking fanny pack!) in case of an emergency or I get lost on the road. Google Maps on the iPhone has saved me on more than one occasion. In case you are not privy to handling a cell phone during a sweat fest carrying some extra change to make a call works too.
Don’t Race Cars/Bikes – Having grown up in a over-populated city, I can personally attest to giving cars or bikes or basically anything that is not on foot, the right of way. You never know if the driver or cyclist really sees you (even if they are facing your direction) so rather than risk it, pause, let the pass unless they motion you to do otherwise.
Don’t Run Alone – Whenever possible, it’s always a good idea (street or trail) to run with a friend. If that is not possible, making sure that loved ones are aware of when you are going and the location/length of your route is a good way to go. I usually leave word with someone on when I am heading on and check in when I’m back. It’s also a great way to get a verbal high five post workout from a friend/loved one.
For More Safety Rules: