The Recent tragedy of the CEO of an IT company in Mumbai, India, getting hit by a car during her morning run has led to lot of heartburn and angst among the running community. At one hand the free-spirited activity which heals body, mind and soul is slowly gaining momentum and on the other hand, such accidents scare the daylights out of many people who are deciding to give this wonderful sport a start.
While the incident is deplorable, and the culprits should be brought to task, one must not let the fright of this incident become a fear factor and stop any future running plans or runs. While the authorities and the government must step up their part to provide safe and proper running infrastructure for more road runners, we the running community must also step up our vigilance and care to avoid any running mishaps. In that light I am highlighting a few pointers which can help us run safely and run fearlessly.
music and running
Music is great while running and sometimes we don’t feel the distance as long as the music is great. But please do keep in mind to keep the volume less so that approaching traffic can be heard from all directions. I use a mobile phone and speaker and keep volume medium. So while I risk others listening to my podcast or songs, its still safer that way than listening with ear buds on with high volume.
where to run
If you stay near the beach, you are lucky. Early morning runs along the beach will not only save you from traffic but also bring you one with nature. But the next best option is to find a stretch of road without potholes and not lonely. Maybe difficult to find but if you find one its worth repeating this trail mostly for your long runs. Its best to search and discover this piece of real estate for your regular runs.
time TO run
While most run in the early mornings or late evenings, one must avoid the morning school traffic or the morning office traffic. 6:00 am to 8:00am is the best time to go for the run, when traffic is minimal, temperature is cool and sun not so hot. This is also a time when daylight has just broken, and visibility is not a concern. I run at times at 5:30am its mostly dark. Best to avoid the dark and start at daybreak for your morning run.
which way to run
Most roads are for vehicles including cars, 2 wheelers and cyclists. It’s best to run on road in the opposite direction of the traffic. This way we can see approaching traffic but be aware of wrong side driving as well. Be mindful that early mornings are also when people tend to break the rules the most and while incoming traffic is visible, sometimes wrong lane driving can become a nuisance with vehicles coming behind you too. Wherever possible try running in sidewalks, footpaths or lanes with bollards to give that extra cushion of safety.
reflective clothing for run
This one is worth investing. Be it clothes T-shirts, shorts, socks or arm bands that are bright in color and also reflective during dark hours. Reflective clothing, shoes, socks or bands can help show oncoming vehicles, runners on the road. At times if we are running inside a tunnel or closed underpass it becomes difficult to spot someone running till the last minute. Invest in a fluorescent green or orange shirt and let the world know you are present and running. Don’t take this for granted.
Thanks for Reading. These pointers are not new but just thought to give you all a reminder. Following some basic rules will help avoid mishaps and let us continue this beautiful sport for the rest of our lives. Happy Running.