AFF's common sense top tips for how to stay safe when out running. It is essential you wear sensible, visible kit, warm-up and down and are prepared for the running conditions before you leave home.
Tips for running safely
Most of these tips are common sense and maybe things that you already do. Sometimes however it is important to continue to remember to practice common sense. In general, it is essential that you wear sensible, visible kit in which to run, warm-up and down appropriately and have water for those hot days when running in summer.
General Safety Principles when running with AFF Running Club
Running on the road
Run on the left against traffic so you can observe approaching vehicles unless this means running on the inside of a blind bend. Cross well before a blind bend and return back to the left of the road soon as it is safe to do so. Wear running sunglasses to protect from both the sun's rays and road debris flicked up from car tyres. Take care in woods to remove sunglasses so you do not trip. Where there is a path, use it!
Running in traffic
When approaching an intersection/T-junction, make eye contact with the driver who is waiting to proceed onto the main road. If the driver does not see you, pass behind the car. Always check over your shoulder for traffic when negotiating a road crossing.
Running in Low light
Wear reflective material and or lights if you run before dawn or after dusk.
Always stay alert and aware of what's going on around you. The more aware you are the less vulnerable you are.
make others aware
Never assume that because you have heard/seen a danger/obstacle that your fellow runners have. Make the call to advise them and maintain this habit.
trust your gut
Trust your intuition about a person or an area. React on your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you're unsure. If something tells you a situation is not "right", it isn't.
ignore verbal harassment
Ignore verbal harassment. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant but keep your distance and keep moving. Do not be abusive. Be courteous to those walking on the pavement.
avoid potential dangers
Dogs can be dangerous, so avoid eye contact and slow to a walk if threatened. Watch out for dogs on leads and give them a wide berth.
running in groups
When running with a group, the club ethos is to re-group if there are runners of varying abilities. At the end of the run, ensure that all members of the group return safely. Ensure that runners are aware that they are to advise you or others in the group if they drop out of a run.
lead by example
If leading a run, set a positive example by practicing the advice set out in these guidelines. Forsake all else for safety!!!
Further Safety Principles when running alone or cross country
do not wear headphones
DO NOT WEAR HEADSETS! Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Using headphones means you lose the use of an important sense: your hearing
stay in contact
Carry a mobile phone and ensure it is well charged before leaving on your run.
vary your route
Alter or vary your running route pattern; run in familiar areas if possible. In unfamiliar areas, such as while travelling, contact a local running club or running shop. Know where open businesses or shops are located.
Run with a partner (or let them accompany you on a bike). Run with a dog.
note your routes
Write down or leave word of the direction of your run. Tell friends and family of your favourite running routes. This could make the difference!
Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Especially avoid unlit areas, especially at night. Run clear of parked cars or bushes.
Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe or on the back of your watch. Include any medical information. Don't wear jewellery.
Practice memorizing car registration numbers or identifying characteristics of strangers.
carry a noisemaker
Carry a noisemaker to attract attention.
call the police
CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately.
running in winter
When running in winter, be aware that the road or trail could be icy and so sometimes in these conditions the sensible choice is not to run – the risk of an accident is perhaps too high!
what 3 words
Every 3-metre square of the world has been given a unique combination of three words. Used for delivery, navigation, emergencies and more, consider downloading this app to your phone in case you get lost.