Street Running: It's Safe, No More Excuses
I love to run on the street at least once a week. Treadmill running is great, because you can watch your pace and push yourself to run faster, measurably, however running on a treadmill can be… Dare I say it, boring? Going to the gym, day after day, and running on the treadmill can become quite redundant. Your scenery never changes, other people can be distracting and it can sometimes be really hot inside the gym. That all being said, hitting the street for a good solid run is a great alternative when you want to get a good run in.
Many people don’t run on the street because they don’t know where to run, what course to run or what distance they are running. These are no longer valid excuses to not street run. Google Earth, a free download, is an excellent tool to answer all these questions. It is really simple to use too. Once you launch Google Earth, type your address (or an address near where you plan to run) and watch the earth zoom in! Once it focuses in on your address, zoom out a little bit, so that you can see outlying areas and a few blocks around you. This way you can look at the layout of your area and the way that the streets run around you. Once you have an idea of where you want to run, click on the show ruler from the menu bar. Be sure that you are on the path tab, and then you can start plotting your course. Google Earth will show you the distance of your path in miles (or any other measurement you choose) so you can see how far your run will be.
No more excuses, now you too can street run, and get some additional motivation! Some additional information (or tips) when it comes to street running that I would like to impart on you:
1. When street running, run on the side of the street that puts you running against traffic, so you can see the cars coming.
2. If at all possible, run in the bike lane or emergency lane because asphalt is softer than cement and as such is less jarring to your joints.
3. DO NOT run in the dark! It’s just not safe, especially on the streets, and when alone. If you are going to run when it is dark, find a partner or buddy to go along with you.
4. Before running your plotted course, take a drive and drive around the same course. Become familiar with your course and make sure that it looks like a safe area to run.
5. Don’t have your iPod or MP3 player up too loud, you want to be able to hear the noises around you (cars or other people).
That’s it! No more excuses! Hit the streets and get your run on!