Warm spring weather is a welcome relief if you were confined to indoor workouts and training all winter. Anytime you're participating in an outdoor sport, keep an eye on the sky for changing weather conditions. With warmer weather come hazards, such as thunderstorms and lightning.
During the past century, lightning has been one of the top two causes of storm-related deaths in the U.S. About 90 percent of these deaths have occurred between May and September. Participants involved in recreation and sports activities accounted for the highest number of lightning-related casualties, according to a national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study.
Lightning is dangerous whether you're training by yourself or at a competitive event. Remember, trying to outrun a storm isn't a smart decision, so check the weather before exercising.
For the safety of you and others:
- Know who at an event or competition has the authority to remove participants from the venue. You shouldn't be penalized for leaving a competition if you feel at risk or choose to seek safety.
- Have access to reliable weather monitoring. Events should have designated weather watchers or use weather radios to monitor conditions.
- Know safe locations for evacuation ahead of time. Identify safe locations along your exercise route, where you work out, or along the course. Safe locations at events should be identified. An enclosed building with wiring and plumbing is the best choice for shelter.
- Events should have established criteria for suspending and resuming competition based on monitoring when thunder is first and last heard and when lightning is first and last seen.
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