It hasn't taken me long to understand the rules of the road when it comes to running. Or the rules of the trail. Or the rules of the sidewalk. There's a good understanding between the drivers and pedestrians of Colorado, considering Colorado is one of the top states for outdoor exercise.
There are always thing to keep in mind when running. Here's some things I've learned:
Wait Till You've Seen the Whites of the Driver's Eyes
When crossing the street at a corner, it's easy to assume that the drivers see the runner. But there are way too many times when drivers look only at the road and not at the sidewalk. You need to make sure the driver acknowledges that you're crossing the street before going. It doesn't matter if you're running for speed; always make sure you see the driver see you before going.
Wave to Other Runners
You're both in the same boat. You're forcing your body to run way more than it wants, and all it wants to do is sit down and eat unhealthy food. The least you can do is acknowledge each other.
Usually people on bikes pass by so quickly there isn't much time to wave to them. No matter; I consider people on bikes to be the equivalent of snowboarders: always in the way.
Ignore Horn Honking
It doesn't happen very often to me, but every once in a while a car will pass and honk. About 95% of the time it's just some doofus trying to get you to jump, and 5% of the time it's someone you know.
Have a Lot of Music - and Variety
I have a good 5-6 hours of running music that I work my way through, and it helps me from hearing the same songs over and over and over again. I'm always tweaking my playlist so I'm not hearing the same songs one after the other. It's good to be surprised by the song that comes up next.
I also make sure to have different kinds of music in my playlist. Too much of one kind of music is not good for running - it allows for boredom. Changing it up means you never know what's coming next. So I've got some pop, some classic rock, some instrumental soundtracks, some alternative rock, and some Japanese hip-hop ("Japanese hip-hop?" you say?...Well, I'll save that for a later post).
Always Wear Sunscreen and Always Bring Water
Here in Colorado, the sun shines brightly almost 300 days of the year. And since we're in high altitude, it can really hurt your skin. I actually just bought a new tube of sunscreen in October - a time of year where you'd never think it was necessary.
It's also important to stay hydrated, no matter where you live or how the weather is. Any runs longer than an hour require some sort of food or drink to keep going.
I'm always learning something new when running. If it helps me get better, then I fully embrace the education!