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Surviving city streets as a runner

12 May, 2013 0 comments

Running in the city



Surviving city streets as a runner

Many of us don’t have access to parks and tracks where we live, and thus need to resort to running in the streets. Others might choose to do so to prepare for a race on asphalt. Whatever the reason, running in the streets can often feel annoying and dangerous.

Don’t worry, here are some tips for making running in city streets more enjoyable and safe.

  1. Plan your running route – Knowing your route will avoid a situation where you end up in a place unsuitable for running. Try to choose streets that have sidewalks or at least have enough room for you to run at the side of the street.


  1. Avoid highly trafficked streets – Avoiding traffic will not only make an accident less likely, you will also inhale less polluted air. Consider running in residential areas where there is usually less traffic. As a bonus, you can discover beautiful parts of your city doing that.


  1. Run early in the morning or late at night – If the streets that you run on are safe at these hours, consider running when most people and cars are not out yet or have already left the streets. This means that there will be less traffic and consequently the air will be cleaner as well.


  1. Run facing traffic – When running on the side of the road, make sure you face the traffic. This way you can see all the cars coming your way and can prevent any dangerous situations that might arise.


  1. Take off the headphones – Although listening to music while running can be enjoyable, this is not a safe option in the streets. Thus, avoid wearing headphones while running in the city, so that you can hear everything that goes on around you, and can be ready to react to any danger.


  1. Stay visible – Choose clothes that are visible to drivers from far away to avoid accidents. When running in the dark, be sure to wear reflective clothes, and prefer to run in lighted areas to be noticed more easily.


  1. Choose asphalt over concrete – Concrete is one of the worst surfaces for running because of its hardness and frequent running on concrete can thus contribute to injuries. Asphalt, although also a hard surface, is more forgiving for the feet. Thus, if you have a choice (especially if you feel your feet are sensitive to the pounding), run on streets where you can run on asphalt.


  1. Use the street to your advantage – Having to wait behind a red light can be annoying. Instead of waiting, use that time to do some squats to increase the value of your workout. If your legs are getting stiff, make use of this time and do some quick stretches.


  1. Let someone know where you’re going – When you head out, let someone know where you plan to run and at what time you might be back. In case something were to happen to you, there will be someone who knows they should look for you.


  1. Take your ID with you - In case of any emergency, it is good to have identification on you. Thus, carry it with you, even if you think you will never need it.


  1. Stay aware – Wherever you are on the streets, don’t forget to stay aware of your surroundings. Being able to react quickly will help to avoid most dangerous situations.

Bottom line, try to make sure that you stay safe when running in the city, but don’t forget to enjoy your run!

Do you have any other good tips to share for surviving city streets? Do share them in the comments!



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