MY TIPS ON HOW TO RUN SAFE WHILE ON HOLIDAY
With the Easter Break, fast approaching, if you’re off to a new destination on holiday or business, there’s no better way to get to know a new city than on foot.
When running or walking stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Not only from a security perspective but also to appreciate the people you’re running past, the buildings and the beauty of the city around you.
RUN SAFE IN UNFAMILIAR SURROUNDS
These are my tips for running safely in a new city you’re visiting for the first time, especially if you’re not keen on hitting the treadmill at the hotel you’re staying at.
NEVER RUN ALONE
If you’re on vacation there’s a strong possibility that you are with a mate or loved one, or if you’re away on business with a colleague try and coerce them to join you. Remember there is safety in numbers.
HAVE AN IDEA OF YOUR ROUTE
There are tons of Apps today with global connections like Strava. These apps help you find routes that others have mapped in the city that you are visiting. Familiarise yourself with those routes, and most importantly make sure it keeps you on the main roads of the city. Also, chat with the hotel reception about the route that you’re thinking of taking. Important to remember to try to find a few different routes and alternate the times that you go out for your run.
So, at major races, one of the rules is that you’re not permitted to use earphones while you’re running? That rule also applies to you when you’re in an unfamiliar city. You need to be alert at all times and as tempting as it is to plug-in … don’t! You want to be aware of the traffic and your surroundings at all times.
PHONE AND CASH
I have a compact and lightweight running pouch that I take with me when I enter the long endurance running races. It’s for my running food and cash I may need after the race.
Make sure you have one and keep your phone and some small change in it as it conceals really well under your running top around your waist. Besides being useful in case of an emergency, it comes in handy if you get lost and/or you get tired and want to call an Uber.
If you’re on holiday somewhere warm like Durban for example, it is important that you keep yourself hydrated to avoid collapsing in the middle of your run. I suggest you take along a water bottle from the bar fridge in your hotel room … I know they cost a fortune .. or else use that small change you have in your runner’s pouch to buy yourself some water along the way. If you’ve studied your route prior to setting out on the run, you will have scouted how long before you hit the first convenience store or exactly where it is situated in case you need to deviate from the route to stay hydrated!
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Finally, time your run so that you are running when there’s still plenty of natural light.
Either go running first thing in the morning just after the sun has risen or early evening, at least an hour or so before sunset.
Never go running in the dark especially if you’re new to the city, and if it’s extremely hot, you want to stay as cool as possible so that you can enjoy the experience.
Now go and enjoy that run!