10 Dos and Don’ts

  1. DON’T begin a running programme until you’ve had a full medical check-up if you’re over 40, significantly overweight, have been seriously ill in the past year or have a family history of heart disease.
  2. DO tell someone where you’ll be running and when you expect to return. Carry some identification and 10p for a phone call.
  3. DO watch out for cars, and don’t expect drivers to watch out for you. Always run facing traffic so that you can see cars approaching. When crossing a junction, make sure you establish eye contact with the driver before proceeding.
  4. DO try some light stretching exercises before and after your walk/run sessions, to reduce muscle tightness and increase your range of motion.
  5. DO include a training partner in your programme if possible. A partner with similar abilities and goals can add motivation and increase the safety of your running.
  6. DO dress correctly. If it’s dark, wear white or, better yet, reflective clothing. If it’s cold, wear layers of clothing, gloves or mittens and a woollen ski hat to retain heat. Sunblock, sunglasses, a cap and white clothing make sense on hot days.
  7. DON’T run in worn-out shoes, or in shoes that are designed for other sports.
  8. DON’T attempt to train through an athletic injury. Little aches and pains can sideline you for weeks or months if you don’t take time off and seek medical advice.
  9. DON’T wear headphones when running outdoors. They tune you out from your surroundings, making you more vulnerable to all sorts of hazards including cars, bikes, dogs and criminals.
  10. DON’T run in remote areas, especially if you’re running alone. If you don’t have a training partner, run with a dog or carry a personal attack alarm. Don’t approach a car to give directions, and don’t assume that all runners are harmless.