1. Don’t begin a running program without a full medical exam.
2. Do tell someone where you’ll be running and when you expect to return.
3. Do watch out for cars, and don’t expect drivers to watch out for you. Always run facing traffic so you can see cars approaching. When crossing an intersection, make sure you establish eye contact with nearby drivers before proceeding.
4. Do warm up properly prior to your walk/run workouts to reduce muscle tightness and increase range in motion.
5. Do include a training partner in your program, if possible. A training 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 wool ski cap to retain heat. Sun block, sunglasses, baseball cap and white clothing make sense on hot days.
7. Don’t run in worn-out shoes (check them for broken-down heels or very smooth areas where you “toe off”). Don’t run in shoes — such as basketball or tennis sneakers — that are designed for other sports. See the running shoes page for more details.
8. Don’t attempt to “train through” an athletic injury. Some 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 outside, whether you’re training or racing. They tune you out from your surroundings, making you more vulnerable to all sorts of hazards — cars, bikes, skateboards, dogs and criminals.
10. Don’t run in remote areas or alone. Don’t approach a car to give directions, and don’t assume all runners are harmless.