Safety Rules of the Road
The Race Team RVA follows the Safe Running Rules published by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). These principles and rules are defined below.
Principles and Running Safety Rules
Don’t take for granted that people have common sense
- Headphones – participants can wear headphones in our group runs and in the race, but encourage them not to use on their solo runs. Primary reason is when you listen to music/radio while running outside, you cannot hear car horns, cyclists, or heaven forbid, the footsteps of someone coming up behind you. Wearing headphones on a treadmill is okay.
- Run against Traffic – Run on the side of the road where you can see the vehicle and more importantly, the driver. Make eye contact.
- Look both ways before crossing. Be sure the driver of a car acknowledges your right-of-way before crossing in front of a vehicle. Obey traffic signals.
- If you run at night, make yourself visible – Wear light-colored clothing and invest a few dollars in a reflective vest.
- Carry identification or write your name and phone number on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information.
- Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of public phones along your regular route.
- Don’t challenge cars to a race – If you and a car are both approaching an intersection, stop and let the car go first. (don’t second guess the car – it is much faster than you.)
- Alter or vary your running route pattern – Run in familiar areas if possible. In unfamiliar areas, such as while traveling, contact a local RRCA club or running store. Know where open businesses or stores are located.
- Write down or leave word of the direction of your run. Tell friends and family of your favorite running routes.
- Beware of stopped cars waiting to make a right turn – Stop and wait until they make the turn, or run behind them.
- Run with others / Avoid running alone in unpopulated, unfamiliar areas and stay away from trails surrounded by heavy bush or Run with a dog.
- Do not wear jewelry or expensive objects that draw attention to yourself. The less tempting you look to a theft, the better.
- Always trust your intuition – If you’re unsure about a person or a place, avoid it. It does not hurt to carry a noisemaker, pepper spray, etc. It doesn’t hurt to get training in Self-Defense. In general, Richmond is a safe area but use your best judgment and your intuition when running/walking.
- Don’t stop to give directions to strangers in cars if you are running alone. – Again, trust your intuition. Ignore verbal harassment and do not verbally harass others. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
- Practice memorizing license tags or identifying characteristics of strangers.
- When using multi-use trails, follow the rules of the road. If you alter your direction, look over your should before crossing the trail to avoid a potential collision with an oncoming cyclist or passing runner.
- CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately.
Risk of Endurance Training
Running a half or full marathon is a lofty, admirable goal. But there are several risks associated with excessive endurance training that you should be aware of before jumping in to ANY half or full marathon training program. We have highlighted below some studies for you to consider before taking on the challenge of training for longer runs. We encourage you to research & seek out other studies too. As with any exercise program, you should seek your doctor’s approval before beginning an intensive endurance training program like a half or full marathon.
Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dose of Jogging and Long-Term Mortality, The Copenhagen City Heart Study
Synopsis: The findings suggest a U-shaped association between all-cause mortality and dose of jogging as calibrated by pace, quantity, and frequency of jogging. Light and moderate joggers have lower mortality than sedentary non-joggers, whereas strenuous joggers have a mortality rate not statistically different from that of the sedentary group.
Source: Time Health, The Hidden Risk of Running a Marathon
Synopsis: In the study, published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, researchers took blood and urine samples from 22 people who ran the 2015 Hartford Marathon, and looked for evidence of kidney injury. The researchers reported that based on the markers they observed in the samples, 82% of the runners had evidence of stage 1 acute kidney injury after the race. Suggest more research is needed, but says that people who have no risk factors for kidney disease probably don’t need to worry. People with diabetes or high blood pressure, or people who are older, may want to work closely with trainers and doctors to keep an eye on their kidney health if they’re running marathons.
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, Cardiac Risks Associated with Marathon Running
Synopsis: Vigorous exercise is associated with a transient increase in risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). SCD associated with marathon running are exceedingly rare events. Prevention should focus on recognition and investigation of prodromal symptoms, if present, and access to rapid defibrillation and trained medical personnel. The robust association of endurance running with improved quality of life and longevity underscores the importance of putting risks into perspective with other well-established health benefits of regular vigorous exercise.
Source: The Crimson, Untrained Runners Risk Stressing Heart
Synopsis: Individuals who trained for 35 miles per week or less before running a marathon exhibited temporary changes in both cardiac function and biochemistry indicating heart stress, according to the study of 60 marathoners by Harvard Medical School Instructor Malissa J. Wood. Negative symptoms were much less pronounced in those who ran at least 45 miles per week before the marathon according to the study. For example, under-trained marathoners exhibited levels of one stress-linked enzyme that were nine times higher than those found in the runners whose weekly regimen included more than 45 miles.