With spring knocking on our doorstep and race/training season fast approaching, I wanted to remind everyone of some safety precautions as we make our way outside to start on-the-road training. There is nothing like training outside in the spring and the effect it has on our senses and overall state of mind while we’re training. It is literally sensory overload at times, but in a good way. We get to smell all the early blooming flowers, we feel the invigorating cool breeze (nature’s air conditioner to our overheated bodies), we see the trees starting to bloom, and we can hear the early morning birds awakening us to the dawn of a new day. With the energy of being outside pumping through our veins, we must not lose focus of all the hazards around us as we hit the pavement either cycling or running. Here are some tips to remember as you enter the roadways this spring:
1) We should never assume a driver sees us. When we come upon an intersection, and there is a car waiting to cross, make sure they acknowledge you before you proceed through the intersection. Also, we always have to make sure we look both ways before crossing. Use caution around turns and over hills/mountains.
2) When running, always run against the flow of traffic and as far over on the shoulder as possible. When cycling, ride with the flow of traffic and again stay as far over on the shoulder as possible.
3) Always carry a cell phone with you in case you get into trouble, you get lost, or your workout takes longer than expected. With that being said, always let someone know where you are headed, how long it should take, and when you plan to finish.
4) Be familiar with the route you are taking. Either pre-ride the course in your car or take your workout easy when handling turns and hills (mainly for cycling). I had a bad experience and misjudged a tight turn, went right over my handlebars, and cracked the frame on my bike. Very expensive repair!!
5) Always pay attention to what is happening ahead of you. Look for pot holes, road debris, vehicle, potential hazards, and dogs/animals.
6) Always be prepared for the disgruntled motorist because they are out there. When they pass you while yelling or honking - remain calm, don’t retaliate, just wave and smile.
Enjoy the fresh air and the freedom of not having to be bundled up. While enjoying this freedom out there on the road, be safe and train smart.
HAPPY SAFE TRAINING!!