There are a few urban running do's and don'ts to follow, whether your route takes you through the busiest part of town or pits your speed against the morning train.
Living in a big city means you'll never be bored because there are so many galleries, theatres, museums, bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from at all hours of the day and night. While the city may have plenty of art, culture, and entertainment, it also has plenty of noise, traffic, pollution, and people; in other words, everything that could irritate even the most mild-mannered runner. Don't be alarmed; here's how to stay calm and run safely in the city.
Expect your run to take longer - Expect a longer run than usual and don't expect to break any records. Stopping at crosswalks, yielding to cars and pedestrians, peering into store windows, and so on are all things you'll be doing. Consider how much longer it will take you to cover the same amount of distance.
Keep your phone & cash on you - Keep your phone, some cash, and a bus pass on you at all times — You never know what might happen on your run, but if it does, you can always call a friend or take a Lyft back to where you started, grab some Gatorade or bandaids, or take the bus back to where you started.
Keep safe - In the city, you're much more likely to come across a sudden, unexpected situation than you are in the country. A car running a red light, a poorly covered hole in a construction zone, a shopper exiting a store without looking left or right, car doors opening unexpectedly, and so on are all examples. You're much less likely to be hurt or hurt someone else if you're alert and aware of your surroundings.
Do not play your music too loudly — I can't recall ever running without the ability to listen to music. But now that we have it, don't let the sound of potential dangers drown you out. Cars, emergency vehicles, or someone attempting to flag you down for a critical reason, for example. Keep the music playing, but make sure you can hear it.
People aren't going to move for you — Don't even get me started on the "walk on the right side of the sidewalk" rant; suffice to say, pedestrians will be everywhere. You're moving at a faster pace, making you the most dangerous person on the sidewalk. Working around walkers is your responsibility, not the other way around.
Finally, remember too have fun! Exploring a city on foot as a runner is a fantastic way to see new sights and visit new places, as well as revisiting familiar sights in cities you've visited before.
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