General Running Safety Tips – Save a life and pass them on!

Running in L.A. is a lot like driving in L.A – one must do so defensively.  As an avid runner, I think it’s important to spread some general running safety tips to our friends and families.  Sure, we have the right away, but don’t risk your life just to prove a point!  Please be sure to pass these great tips on from the Road Runners Club of America to anyone you know who may have just started their running career or anyone who likes to work out outdoors.

  • Don’t wear headphones. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes may miss during evening or early morning runs. (Example – cars driving quickly out of an alley way and through the crosswalk).  If you absolutely must run with music, set the volume to the lowest possible level so that you can still hear approaching traffic.
  • Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles. By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you. (If you see someone suspicious approaching and you quickly run past them, there is a smaller chance that they will put their car in reverse to go against traffic).
  • Look both ways before crossing. Be sure the driver of a car acknowledges your right-of-way before crossing in front of a vehicle. Obey traffic signals.
  • Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information.
  • Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
  • Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of public phones along your regular route.
  • 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.
  • Alter or vary your running route pattern; run in familiar areas if possible. In unfamiliar areas, such as while traveling, contact a local RRCA club or running store. Know where open businesses or stores are located in case of emergency.
  • Run with a partner. Run with a friend; run with a dog.
  • Write down or leave word of the direction of your run. Tell friends and family of your favorite running routes.
  • Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Avoid unlit areas, especially at night. Run clear of parked cars or bushes.
  • Ignore verbal harassment and do not verbally harass others. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
  • Wear reflective material if you must run before dawn or after dark. Avoid running on the street when it is dark.  (It’s especially dark in PV and along the strand early in the morning and at night).
  • Practice memorizing license tags or identifying characteristics of strangers.
  • Carry a noisemaker. Get training in self-defense.
  • When using multi-use trails, follow the rules of the road. If you alter your direction, look over your should before crossing the trail to avoid a potential collision with an oncoming cyclist or passing runner.  (This rule applies at the beaches as well folks!)
  • 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
Village Runner carries an array of running accessories including pepper spray, running belts (that can easily and comfortably hold a cell phone, change, and ID), reflective vests, reflective ankle/wrist straps, as well as bright flashing lights.  We also have info in our stores regarding Road I.D. – a great accessory that all of our associates wear that contains your personal info should an emergency ever arise while you’re on a run or walk. 
Lastly, for those interested in self-defense, many of my friends, my fiance and I have personally trained with Triton MMA and highly recommend their instructors.  There are many different classes you can take to better prepare yourself, your friends, and your family including classes specifically for women and children. For more information, be sure to check out Triton MMA’s website.  You can even sign up for a week of free classes and trust me, you won’t regret it.   
Thanks for taking a look at this post and please be sure to pass these tips along to your fellow teammates, friends, and family.