Tag Archives: safe running

Running Safety

As the summer heats up, people are more likely to run when they can find some shade and temperatures are cooler.  The problem with these hours, early in the morning or late in the evening, is they tend to be dark and shadowy.  Darkness and odd hours make running at these times especially dangerous, and even if the sun’s out, there are plenty of other risk factors out there.  One big factor in being prepared for any type of attack or harassment during your run is knowing that even though it’s sunny, you aren’t invincible.  Attackers strike at any time of the day, from early morning to late at night and every hour in between.  Here are seven tips to make sure you have a great run and get home safely.

Have a buddy.  The hands down best way to be safe on a run is to run with a friend.  Two people are harder to attack than one, just like four eyes are better than two.  If you don’t have a friend available for your run, bring your dog.  More alert to danger, your canine can sense it before you do.  Of course, your running buddy needs to be bigger than a microwave and capable of helping defend you.

Carry an ID.  While this may seem simple, most people forget to grab a form of identification because they aren’t bringing along their entire wallet.  You can even write your name and phone number inside your shoe, or use a small luggage tag strung through your laces.

Don’t wear headphones.  This, too, may seem simple.  If music is what you’re paying attention to while sweating out a tough day, you’re less likely to hear an approaching attacker, bicyclist or car.  The tunes distract and slow your reaction time, both of which can spell trouble.

Carry a phone.  Most phones have straps or cases that wrap around your arm, and some are slim enough to slide into a shorts pocket.  Many people use their phones to track their distance and time, but should stick to using it for these purposes only.

Vary your route.  Pretend you have a crazy ex.  They know exactly where to find you, especially if you announce on Facebook or Twitter that you’re heading out, and aren’t afraid to show up.  Stalkers and attackers work the same way.  They stake out routes, and on familiar ones, we tend to space out.  Dealing with new terrain helps keep us alert and more aware of our surroundings, which makes us less of a target.

Run against traffic.  Seeing oncoming traffic makes you much less likely to be hit by a vehicle.

Gear up.  Purchase and use reflector tape, vests or shirts.  Even the blinking lights usually associated with cyclists work, and stay off the roads altogether when it’s dark out.

Now you’re all ready to head for a great run and get home just the way you left it.  Need help finding a running buddy or a new route?  Ask us!  Info@FitNicePT.com

Working Out with Music

All of the cardiovascular equipment at your gym has headphone jacks, the stereo in that Crossfit box was blasting, and even the yoga teacher had some relaxing tunes coming out of the MP3 player.  Even if you already work out with a beat to get you going, you might not know why you feel so different without it.  Listening to your favorite band while you sweat has numerous benefits, and it’s all about finding what works for you.

Listening to the right type of music has been shown in several studies to increase endurance by up to 15%.  Music also has the benefits of reducing perceived effort, helping your mood improve, and possibly even increasing your metabolic rate.  There are several reasons people see these benefits when listening up while working out, but a big one is that it distracts you from the pain of your sweat session.  If you’re singing along to one of your favorite songs, you won’t also be staring at mileage on the treadmill or rower’s calorie counter.  The predicted source of these benefits is the music’s beat.  Typically, people want to move to the beat of whatever music they’re listening to, which is why pop, rock and hip-hop are incredibly popular on workout playlists.  Syncing your body movements to the music, or getting close, can increase the efficiency of your movements as your brain and body respond to the beat.  A study done by C. J. Bacon of Sheffield Hallam University (Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2012 Aug; 52(4):359-65) found that cyclists who pedaled to music used seven percent less oxygen than those who worked in silence.

All these benefits are wonderful, so wonderful in fact, that USA Track and Field had banned any type of music device from all sanctioned races citing them as a performance enhancer.  USATF has since reformed this policy to apply only to those who are competing for money and awards, but it just goes to show how the right tunes can push you a little harder and a little farther, so throw on your head phones and get going.

You don’t have to pick a playlist just because it’s 128 beats per minute and that’s what you think you’re supposed to sweat to.  Listen to whatever motivates you.  It could be Metallica or Bach, the good news is no one else can hear it!  There are plenty of line sources for sample playlists and even more workout specific remixes and compilations to get you started.  Your best bet is to know what you like and try different things out.  Be careful about where you’re working out with your tunes pumping, however.  You need to be able to hear traffic and others around you, especially if running or biking in a busy area for cars.

Questions?  Training for a race?  Contact us at Info@FitNicePT.com for answers!