SAFETY TIPS & RISKS
General Safety Tips of the Road
The Race Team RVA follows the Safe Running Tips published by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). These safety tips should be practiced by all of our members.
General Running Safety tips
Don’t take for granted that people have common sense, so use these tips below to help improve your safety while running on the road:
- DON’T WEAR HEADPHONES. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes may miss during evening or early morning runs.
- Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles. By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you.
- 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.
- Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information.
- Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
- Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of public phones along your regular route.
- Trust your intuition about a person or an area. React on your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you’re unsure. If something tells you a situation is not “right”, it isn’t.
- 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 in case of emergency.
- Run with a partner. Run with a dog.
- Write down or leave word of the direction of your run. Tell friends and family of your favorite running routes.
- Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Avoid unlit areas, especially at night. Run clear of parked cars or bushes.
- 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.
- Wear reflective material if you must run before dawn or after dark. Avoid running on the street when it is dark.
- Practice memorizing license tags or identifying characteristics of strangers.
- Carry a noisemaker. Get training in self-defense.
- 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.
- 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.).
- Beware of stopped cars waiting to make a right turn – Stop and wait until they make the turn, or run behind them.
- Do not wear jewelry – Be careful not to attract attention to yourself. Less jewelry is best.
- Don’t stop to give directions to strangers in cars if you are running alone. – Again, trust your intuition.
- Water Stations / Rest Rooms: know the locations of safe water stations and rest rooms along your route.
Summary: In general, Richmond is a safe area for runners but use your best judgement and your intuition when running/walking on the roads. To enhance your safety, and help in an emergency, it’s always best to run with others. If you ask, you might find another member of our club willing to run/walk with you.
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.