The clocks have been re-set, with sun rising and falling earlier than previous fall months. Yet, the shorter days don't have to stop you from working out! During the month of November—National Running Safety Month—safety is put first, conquering darkness at all hours.
That said, while it's nice that National Running Safety Month exists, we think every month should prioritize the security of pedestrians. Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself during November, and always:
Let someone know your tentative route and approximately how long you'll be gone. For just in case purposes, it's always wise to text a co-worker, leave a note out for your spouse, or send a quick email to a friend letting them know when you head out for a run alone.
Dress for the weather. If inclement weather is coming your way, plan accordingly. And if it's about to be a torrential downpour, adjust your workout plan. It's better to skip a workout, hit the treadmill, or do an alternative indoor routine instead of doubling your risk of injury just for the sake of a 5am thunderstorm sprint!
Turn the tunes down. By choosing to not listen to music, dialing down the volume, or eliminating one ear bud, you'll be more aware of your surroundings. Since your visibility is already low, it's important to make sure you can hear what's happening around you.
Bring your cell phone. In the event that you need assistance, and no one is there to help, a cell phone can be a handy tool—maybe even a lifesaver!
Don't go alone. Remember, there is always power in numbers! If you aren't part of a running group, let your dog tagalong or ask a friend/ your significant other to bike alongside you. Having someone around is always comforting.
Wear reflective apparel and a headlight, so that drivers are aware of your presence. Otherwise, you might not be seen until directly in headlights...and by then, it's too late. It's your responsibility to make yourself known! Additionally, bringing a flashlight can help you to avoid potholes and unrecognizable hazards in the road.
Always carry identification. Bringing your ID with you, or wearing a Road ID bracelet, is vital for an emergency situation!
Consider bringing some cash. In case you run out of fuel or need to purchase some sort of last-minute emergency tool, stuff a few bucks in your pocket!
And of course, always look both ways! It might seem like elementary advice, but we oftentimes forget to double-check that the road is clear before crossing. During sunless hours, it's up to you to be seen. It's in your control to abide by traffic rules and use caution. In general, it's best to stick to designated pathways and sidewalks. Stay on course, face traffic, and tune into your surroundings!