Be safe, be seen, be a Phoenician!

Here is our advice on how to keep yourself safe when running. 

Be safe!

  • When running with a group, ensure that all members of the group return safely. Start and finish together. If you need to finish early, let the run leader know you are leaving. Do not leave the group without letting someone know what you are doing.
  • On steady/slow runs (e.g. weekend training runs), faster runners must regularly run to the back of the slower runners to ensure no one goes astray or gets left behind. Faster runners should avoid running ahead and then stopping for a chat whilst the slower runners catch up with them. It’s very unfair and disrespectful to the slower runners. Instead, quicker runners must turn back and rejoin the group at the back. This is known as regrouping and encourages all runners as well as ensuring everyone gets a continuous run. 
  • Never assume that because you have heard/seen a danger/obstacle that your fellow runners have. Shout out to advise them.
  • Where possible run in pairs or groups. If you haven’t got anyone to run with, ask another member of the club if they will run with you. Make use of the very active social media group within the club. 
  • Whenever you venture out, even if it is for only 20 minutes, you should always let someone know where you’re going, your route and approximately how long you expect to be. If you’re heading out from an empty home or office, call a friend, partner or relative to advise them of your plans, and call them again to check in when you return.
  • Plan your routes carefully. That doesn’t mean you should avoid your favourite routes because they go across remote areas or miss out on some spectacular scenery, but that you should take care with your choice and the time you choose to run. Try to limit danger points on your runs. For example, areas where you would be difficult to spot if you had a fall or injury, dark alleyways, or known local black spots.
  • Carry some form of identification with you. A business card or piece of paper with your details on will do, or write the information in your shoe. Make sure the emergency contact details on your phone and/or other electronic devices you carry when running are up to date. 
  • Cross roads at pedestrian crossings and always be aware of traffic lights. If using a pedestrian crossing, regroup before all the group crosses as one (i.e. do not press any buttons until all the group are there!). Make sure you make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front of a car. When approaching an intersection/T-junction, make eye contact with the driver who is waiting to proceed onto the main road. If the driver does not see you, pass behind the car.
  • Be careful if anyone in a car asks you for directions – if you stop to answer, keep at least at arm’s length from the vehicle.
  • Walk and run with confidence and purpose. Don’t concentrate on your run so much that you lose track of the time and what’s going on around you.
  • Headphones/MP3 players may prevent you from hearing trouble approaching and distract you from your surroundings. Expensive equipment could also make you a target for thieves. Please do not use headphones (even bone conductors) at club training sessions as you will not be able to the coach/group leaders instructions.

Route planning

  • Circular routes are safer because you don’t have to retrace your steps.
  • Vary your route to minimise chances of being targeted.
  • Try and avoid deserted areas or places where people could easily conceal themselves. For example: paths surrounded by bushes.
  • Choose well lit, populated routes, especially if you are running after dark.
  • Be aware of running on cycle paths – the cyclists may not be expecting to see you. Where a path has dual use, make sure you run on the pedestrian side. If it’s unmarked, stay to the left hand side. 
  • Look for places on or near your route where you could be sure of finding people and where you could call for help. For example: shops, garages etc.
  • If possible, check out your route first on foot or by car. Look to see if there are other people using your route – this is a good sign.
  • See if you can run with a friend or in a group. Is there anyone that could perhaps cycle with you instead?
  • Before agreeing to exercise with someone, take time to get to know and trust them.

Be seen!

Precautions to take while running at night:

  • We always need to think about safety and being seen at night. The most important thing is to make sure you can be seen. Dark clothes and shoes can make you virtually invisible to motorists, particularly if you’re trying to cross a busy road or if you’re running along the edge of a narrow road without a footpath. You may also not be visible to other runners and/or pedestrians and cause an accident as a result.
  • Wear bright clothing and light colours; at the very least wear a white t-shirt as a top layer. You are best to look for wind jackets, tops and tights with reflective strips that are highly visible even on the darkest road. Invest in body lights, rechargeable headtorch and/or flashing armband – these are cheap and effective.
  • Alternatively, invest in a lightweight reflective running bib in a luminous colour with reflective strips around the middle. These are cheap and readily available at all good running shops. You cannot be missed in these even if you are padded up in many layers on the coldest of days, they will still fit.
  • Avoid using the roads unless you have to. When you are on a road watch the surface – wet or icy patches are considerably harder to see in the dark

Be a Phoenician!

We pride ourselves on being a friendly and considerate club.  Look out for your fellow runners as well as yourself on training runs.  Follow the advice in the Be Safe and Be Seen sections above and always lead by example.

During speed sessions run at your own pace (faster runners when finished should encourage slower runners until they have finished or continue with the speed session set until the last runner has finished).  Then warm down together.

Remember that our training runs are just that (even speed sessions).  Don’t run so hard that you are putting either your health, other runner’s health or members of the public at risk.  Don’t leave your race on the training ground!  Please do not use headphones (even bone conductors) when on training sessions with the club as you will not be able to hear the run leader’s instructions.

When running on the cycleways, use a similar protocol to driving on roads. Run no more than two abreast on the left side of the cycleway. If you need to overtake slower runners do so on their right but only when it is safe to do so (be mindful of any oncoming cycleway users and delay overtaking until it is clear). Check over your right shoulder before moving out. If you want to use a footpath for extra capacity for the group only do so with the one on the left hand side of the cycleway. DO NOT cross the cycleway and run on the right hand pathway. Instead stay with the group and if necessary moderate your speed. Remember we are training not racing!!

Be aware of members of the public and other road/cycleway/path users when you running.  If in doubt or where space is tight defer to them.  Above all be polite and remember that you are representing the club.

Above all enjoy your running and support those runners around you.  


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