Running, like anything else, is dangerous.
You can seriously injure yourself just from the shock of running, or more serious injuries like a sprained ankle can occur.
But there are plenty of other dangers to discuss…
What’s really dangerous is getting hit by car, especially if you’re out in the dark or when the sun is glaring on motorists’ windshields.
One solution is to wear special running garments which have reflective material built in. Although expensive, this stuff is cheap compared to medical bills!
At night, be sure to wear light colors with reflective stripes. A headlamp is a good idea, too.
During the day, wear bright colors that stand out.
Dangerous Dogs and People
Dogs are another problem area. They love to chase runners and cyclists, and some of them are fast! And ferocious! Be sure to do some research about avoiding dog attacks.
As a runner you’re vulnerable for attack. By dogs of course, but by people too. One way to avoid this is to change your routes often. Don’t become too predictable, or a stalker could wait in the bushes on your normal route, hoping to kidnap you.
So change your route and your schedule often (i.e. don’t be in the same place at the same time, day after day.)
It might not hurt to carry some pepper spray or mace with you, either.
The best thing to do is run with a friend. Women especially should not run alone in the dark, as it’s more likely someone will be looking to attack a solo woman. In lieu of a human friend, you might even want to run with your own dog – that could keep would-be predators at bay.
Final tip: Make sure someone knows where you are running and when you expect to arrive home. Then they can come looking for you or at least call you on your cell phone if you aren’t back on time. If you want to go the extra mile, use an app such as RunKeeper – it lets someone track your run over the internet on your home computer.
The most likely safety problems you’ll encounter are your own fault or freak accidents. We’re talking about running injuries.
It’s important to know the difference between fatigue and muscle soreness (normal byproducts of training) and true injuries like stress fractures, sprains and tears, and other dangerous situations that likely require medical attention.
You have now finished the guide! Now you can either go back to the Beginner’s Guide main page to make sure you didn’t miss anything, or you can continue on with the site. I’d suggest reading the Beginner’s Guide to Barefoot Running, it’s fun!