My new job has me traveling everywhere. Some great places like Montreal and some not so great places like Camargo Mexico (yea look it up, middle of nowhere). I have been very good about getting in my workouts sometimes its short and easy other times I’m killing it with my Nike Training App.
My favorite workout to do when I’m traveling is running. In my opinion there is no better way to see a city. Not every city is what I would consider 100% safe for me to do this. Over the last few years P. has been talking to be about something called situational awareness.
Wikipedia definition: Situation awareness is the perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event. Situation awareness involves being aware of what is happening in the vicinity, in order to understand how information, events, and one’s own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future.
From running in small Mexico cities, dark Texas backroads or simply your normal trail route, you need to be paying attention to your surrounds and practicing situational awareness while running. While my list below is not exhaustive they are things that need to be thought about when your out there pounding on the pavement.
1) Which one of these things is not like the other? Is there a guy in a jacket on a warm day? Is there someone looking to observant or out of place? I try to make eye contact with people to let them know I’m aware of them, sort of the mentality that you use with bears or stray dogs don’t let them see your fear.
2) Cars. This is probably my biggest fear when I’m running in dark or strange areas. I never run right next to parked cars or vans. Maybe I’m being over cautious but no one can grab me if I do my best to avoid vehicles.
3) Talk to a local. Locals will have a good idea about what areas to avoid and when. In Texas for example believe it or not the backroads are never lit and are dangerous to run on since there is no shoulder. Locals recommended to me running laps around the hotel. Boring, yes. But I veered into a neighborhood and quickly saw what they meant.
4) Understand whether you fit in or not. In Mexico no one runs the streets in the smaller towns I visit. Not only am I a blonde female but I’m also running and alone. I am the one who is different. This makes me a target, something I try to be cognizant of.
Most of all just try to remain aware. What do you do to make sure your safe when running?