How to Guide a Blind or Visually-Impaired Runner

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In this video, you will discover our advice and techniques for guiding a blind or visually-impaired runner.

Take a look at the next video in this chapter of our running program to find out more about running with blind and visually-impaired runners.

Discover how to guide a blind or visually-impaired runner by watching the techniques shown in this video.

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In this video, you will learn how to guide a blind or visually impaired runner.

Guiding a blind or visually impaired runner isn't very difficult, provided that you know a few basic techniques.

This will allow you to make running a real team sport!

First we will show you 2 guiding techniques, then some extra advice on communicating while running, and finally, some practical advice.

Firstly, here are two guidance techniques: the tether, and the wrist-hold.

First, the tether. You can guide a blind or visually impaired runner with a cord, or elastic, 15 to 20 inches long (40-50 centimeters).

Both of you should tie one end of the cord around your wrist, or slip the elastic around your middle finger, in order to run.

This method is ideal for easy paths, but may be insufficient on less stable ground.

If this is the case, favour the wrist-holding guidance technique.

You can guide a blind or visually impaired runner by holding their wrist, or by asking them to hold yours.

Direct contact makes for faster and more accurate guidance.

We advise you to combine the two guidance methods, and to switch from one to the other based on the width of the path, the surface on which you are running, and the presence of obstacles.

Secondly, here is some further advice on communicating over the course of your run.

Always give your partner very clear oral instructions.

First, tell your partner what they must do and in what direction, then give some indications on the environment in which you are running.

Inform the blind runner of upcoming turns, slopes,and any obstacle in your path.

If your path becomes narrow, slow down and put your elbow behind your back. This will allow your partner to hold your elbow and keep moving, remaining protected and guided throughout.

Thirdly, here is some practical advice.

Where possible, opt for easy paths, that is, stable ones without obstacles.

As a guide, you must be able to adapt to your partner's pace and anticipate what decisions must be made, which often means your level must be at least equal to that of your partner.

Finally, before you leave, decide together of the pace of your run.

Guiding a blind or visually impaired runner requires a little bit of practice, but will allow you to share the joy of running!

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