I was in Istanbul this week for work and found time to run. It inspired today’s theme, 5 ways to stay safe and be smart while running in a new spot.
1. Know where you are going
Lookig at a map before you go out is the absolute minimum. I ask the hotel for one, and scrutinize the area on my phone. I don’t just look at the short radius around the hotel, but I see where the hotel is located compared to public transportation, maybe a tourist site, or a specific landmark. Do not get only a very macro view, you need a very detailed view. Especially in European cities with very confusing streets.
Ask the hotel questions. Is it safe to go out ? Are there any areas to avoid ? Do they have a recommended running route ?
2. Be prepared for the unexpected
Take your phone with you and be sure it is charged !
Take money with you. You will never know if you need to buy water, or if you get lost and need money to get back.
Take the hotel’s address with you !
3. Know where you are leaving from
When you exit the hotel, look around and take your time to get situated. If you need to take a couple turns to get to your running route, take pictures. Of the hotel, of the street name, of a specific landmark. I recently took a picture of this bulletin board, knowing when I saw it on my way back I would have to turn left.
On my way back to the hotel I was a bit scared, hoping it wasn’t an electronic billboard that changed advertising !
4. Follow the crowds
Do you see other runners or bikers going in a specific direction ? Follow them.
Mothers with strollers ? Parks with kids ? Go in that direction.
5. Be attentive to your surroundings and time of day
Run without music. Be able to tune in with what is going on around you. Be attentive to things like dark areas (avoid !), shady looking characters (avoid avoid !). Night can fall fast and you don’t want to get lost in the dark. Andif you are running in Europe, not everyone speaks English, so you might not be able to ask for directions (and in some Asian countries, even fewer people speak English!)
Do you have any tips for running safely in an area you are unfamiliar with ?