It’s the season of cold, snow and the worst thing for runners – ice. I LOVE snow! No issues with the stuff at all. I love playing in it, rolling in it, driving in it, running in it. But ice? No way. Take that slippery stuff and put it in an oval so I can play hockey on it.
Recently, I was driving to work in less than favorable conditions. Visibility was low, snow was blowing and the roads were not treated. As drivers, we know that when the roads are bad, you’re most focused on what is coming ahead of you. Is the road icy coming up ahead? Do I have enough space between me and the car in front of me? The last thing you want to worry about is a runner who is trying to get their training in.
My personal opinion on running outside: I love it, but you have to be safe and realize that drivers are NOT looking for runners as they drive. If you choose to run on a road, you are putting your life into the hands of people who are distracted, and I’m not just talking about cell phones here.
Sometimes you get caught up in the stress of the workday and end up fixating on a certain problem and “space out.” With all of those distractions, drivers are not as focused on driving and paying attention to those who are sharing the pavement.
Now, I run in my local residential neighborhood, but I stay off of the more-traveled roads to keep myself safe from drivers who just don’t care about slowing down. If you absolutely need to run outside, I would recommend you not do it on a main road, just for your own safety.
If the roads are bad, and you are running on a high-traffic road, you are asking to be hit by a car. The near-miss I had with a runner who was trying to get some training in during the height of a storm brought my awareness up of how dangerous running outside in the winter can be, and cars can’t stop on a dime when the roads aren’t treated.
My advice: stay in, change your training time, or get on a treadmill. BE SAFE.