In less than two weeks the 2017 Publix Gasparila Distance Classic will commence. Are you ready? Running is a very rewarding sport but it does have its hazards. Florida in general has one of the highest number of car accidents in the country as well as accidents involving pedestrians. This means we have to be extra careful when training for these runs. You and your families have all been involved your training and to have all that time and energy be taken away with an avoidable injury would be devastating. If you are like me I can only run early morning or late evening due to work and family duties. Training in low light conditions unfortunately increases the risk of being involved in an auto accident due to poor visibility. So the tips that are going to be shared are mostly involving increasing your personal visibility. There are a multitude of lights, blinkers, and reflectors but one of the most important tips is to keep fully aware of your surroundings. If you are running in an unfamiliar area then you may be subject to unseen hazards. Changes in the terrain, drop offs, hills, sharp turns, and slippery surfaces may be around the corner so being aware of these possible hazards will help to prevent injury. Having a good headlight to illuminate the ground in front of you is crucial when in unfamiliar areas. Also, limiting your music so that you can hear hazards coming is a very good tip. Having only one ear bud in does help but again if the music is too loud then turn it down.
Here are some tips from Brooks to ensure a safe training run:
Be Visible: Wear bright colors and reflective gear during low-light hours.
Run Against Traffic: If you’re running next to a road, this helps cars to see you as they approach.
Obey All Traffic Laws: Clearly signal to cars where you are going.
Open Your Eyes: Wait, watch and listen for cars before crossing intersections.
Keep Your I.D. on You: And don’t forget to carry your cell phone at all times.
Stay on Well Lit Paths: And while you’re at it, run with a friend or in a group.
Following all of these tips can help to ensure a safe training experience and a successful race day. As always have a safe and fun run and I’ll see you at the corral!