My dad got me into running which I am grateful for. However, he is a tad over the top. I was the kid that had all the protective gear when I started to rollerblade. With that being said, some of the requirements suggestions he made when I would go for runs … are comical looking back on them. When I talk to my run group about run preparedness, I’m often shocked that these basic things aren’t common practice.
Items to Bring
1. Bring ID with an address on it
I don’t want to be a worry wart, but in the worst case scenario, you want to have ID on you so people know who you are and where you are from. It’s lightweight and easy to slip into a pocket.
Additionally if you’re traveling having the address written down (or a hotel business card) means that if you get lost you can find your way home by asking others or handing the card to a taxi driver if you don’t speak the language of the city. It is easy and could make a huge difference in your life.
Personally I just bring a credit card, but when I’m somewhere new I also slip in some hard cash as well. You don’t know what will happen on a run and if you need water to hydrate or to quickly take a taxi home, mo
ney is a must.
3. Reflective Material
This may seem like a no brainer, but even in the middle of the day it is good to have something that catches the eyes of drivers or cyclists. Just like you get in the zone when you’re running, so do drivers. Make it easier for everyone to see you. There are even LED lights that can wrap around your arm or leg.
1. Plan For Washrooms
If you’re just getting back into running, make sure you know where public washrooms are around your run. There is nothing worse than getting half way out and realizing you have to go.
This is also key when you’re traveling and going for a run. Some key public stops are Parks, Malls and Chain Restaurants (like McDonalds or Starbucks. Some places may make you buy something so another reason to bring money).
2. Easy Way Home
If running is new for you, it's good to think about quick ways to get home if you need to (pull a muscle or weather turns bad). In Vancouver, I’m lucky that we have a bike share (Mobi), which is a faster way to get home than running or walking.
When weather changes quickly so you may find yourself wet, cold and/or uncomfortable. For experienced runners, they usually like to tough it out as badges of honour. For new or social runners toughing it out can create sour memories in your mine and act as barriers the next time you think of going out. If you’re not a die-hard, make it easy on yourself to get out next time. Head back early. Here some suggestion for quick ways home:
Plan a circular loop so you can cut across,
Phone to call a taxi, Uber or friend
Tell someone that you’re going for a run, what direction/area and how long it’ll take. Be safe and let people know. Especially when you are starting out or if it's early or late in the day. If you’re worried that you might want to extend your run while you’re out, tell your person a longer time or give them a range.
This helps to keep you safe and gives your people an understanding of what you’re doing so they don’t panic early or know when to get worried.