Health & Safety

August 24, 2012

Run to get fit, warrior ready: Keep safety in mind

Running is part of the physical training test and as such, many people on Luke Air Force Base spend much of their PT time running, whether it be on the track or around the base.

Running has many health benefits but done incorrectly can cause injuries ranging from blisters to serious life-threatening circumstances.

“Proper footwear is the key to safety while running,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy Noel, 56th Fighter Wing ground safety technician.

Runners also need to be aware of the world around them, especially if running on a road. There can be multiple distractions for runners, one being music.

Air Force Instruction 91-207, the Air Force traffic safety program says, “Wearing portable headphones, earphones, cellular phones, iPods, or other listening and entertainment devices (other than hearing aids) while walking, jogging, running, bicycling, skating or skateboarding on roadways is prohibited. Use of listening devices impairs recognition of emergency signals, alarms, announcements, approaching vehicles, human speech and outside noise in general.”

This means one can run on a sidewalk or designated running path with headphones, Noel said.

“If you cross a street, run off the sidewalk or in any way touch the road, the headphones come out,” he said.

The safety office also recommends pacing oneself, staying hydrated and knowing the trail.

“Be familiar with the route you are about to run to lower the possibility of misstepping and rolling an ankle,” Noel said.

***

The Road Runners Club of America recommends the following running safety tips:

  • Avoid wearing headphones. Use the ears to be aware of surroundings. A person’s ears may help avoid dangers the eyes may miss during evening or early morning runs.
  • Run against traffic so approaching automobiles are in full view. By facing oncoming traffic, one can react quicker than to traffic approaching from behind.
  • Look both ways before crossing streets. Be sure drivers grant the right-of-way before crossing in front of vehicles. Obey traffic signals.
  • Carry identification or write name, phone number and blood type on the inside sole of the running shoe. Include any medical information.
  • Remain alert and aware of what’s going on in the vicinity.
  • Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of public phones along regular routes.
  • Avoid people or situations that appear unsafe. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  • Alter or vary running routes, but 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 or a dog.
  • Write down or leave word of the route of the run. Tell friends and family about favorite running routes.
  • Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets and overgrown trails. Avoid unlit areas at night and 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 a distance and keep moving.
  • Wear reflective material if running 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 and get training in self-defense.
  • When using multiuse trails, follow the rules of the road. If altering direction, look behind before crossing the trail to avoid a potential collision with an oncoming cyclist or passing runner.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately.



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