Early Bird Running
Getting out of bed in the morning for an early run isn't the only obstacle runners face, there is a whole list of things that one must consider.
At the top of the list: safety.
Safety should be a runner's number one priority. Personally, I know that fitting a run into my morning routine kick-starts my day, but I have learned how important it is to be careful when hitting the pavement before the sun rises.
Here is my "Early Bird Running" Safety Checklist:
1) Don't Be a Predictable Target: Vary your routes, switch up the time that you leave your house and mix up mileage.
2) No Social Media Posts: You may think that your friends are the only ones who can see your posts, but if you have a public account, people can tap into your profile.
3) Report Buddy: Designate someone to report to. Whether it be a family member, friend or fellow runner, let them know that you will send them a text when you leave for your run, and again when you get back.
4) Reflective Gear: Invest in running clothes that are manufactured with reflective options, invest in a reflective running vest, or buy a clip-on flashing device. Additionally, aim to wear light colored clothing.
5) Pepper Spray/Mace: It's better to be safe than sorry. Pick up this pocket-sized weapon.
6) Choose Well-Lit Areas: Try to avoid running in dark, dim areas as much as possible. Look for routes that have plenty of street lights or are well-populated early in the morning.
7) Headlamp: If you HAVE to run for a duration of time where there are no lights available, put on a headlamp or carry a flashlight. You don't want to trip over debris or step in a hole, and risk being injured. Light the path in front of you.
8) Carry Identification: In the event that something were to happen, it is always smart to have your I.D. with you.
9) Be Aware: It may sound like a no-brainer but PAY ATTENTION! If you have to run with music, be sure that the sound is on low. Constantly be scanning your surroundings, as some animals roam around before dawn. Always make sure you are running against the flow of traffic.
10) Say "Hello" to Fellow Running Roadsters: Again, in case something were to happen, it would be helpful for someone to recount seeing you. Runners tend to be pretty good about being able to remember landmarks and when they saw another runner.
Yours in running safety,