Stay Safe While Running
Staying safe while running is, unfortunately, one of those things that need to be given more and more consideration as the years pass. All too often we hear of stories where lone runners have been attacked or are the target of reckless drivers (or they themselves are reckless runners). This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t indulge in our passion, it simply means that we need to be prepared.
Bear in mind that being prepared does not entail living in fear, it merely suggests that runners should create safer situations while remaining conscious of their surroundings.
Whether you are on the road or trail, here are several practical safety tips that can help you to avoid dangerous interactions.
1. Always Tell Someone Where You Are Going
So many things can happen while you are out running. From injuries and accidents to getting lost in a strange neighborhood, a simple run can easily turn into a dreaded situation. The chances of help coming to your aid in these scenarios are so much greater if someone knows where you are and how long you were planning to be out for.
Before you head out the door, tell someone (who cares) where you are going with an estimated time on when you plan on being back. If no one’s around, you can leave a note.
2. Bring Your Phone Along
Yes, they’re bulky and they could attract criminals with itchy fingers but if you do get caught in an uncomfortable scenario, then you can phone for help!
We suggest that you invest in a cheap and light mobile phone – one that can easily fit in a running belt. This way you won’t be a soft target for thieves on the go and you don’t have to worry about damaging or losing your Smartphone while running.
3. Wear Reflective Gear
This applies to both daytime and night-time runners. Wearing reflective gear or bright colors makes you more visible and the sooner a driver spots you, the lower your chances are of being hit.
If you want to stay visible at night while running, then we urge you to wear a headlamp. This will not only help to make your own path more visible but motorists will also see you coming.
4. Consider Ditching The Headphones
Yes, a good part of any run is listening to the tunes that keep you pumped up and moving forward. Headphones can, unfortunately, be somewhat of a hazard and you might want to consider leaving them at home.
When we listen to music while running, we stifle sounds that could alert us of posing dangers and they also tend to break our concentration so that we are not fully focused on our surrounds.
If you must have music, rather turn the sound to its loudest setting and hang the earpieces around your neck – it’s better than nothing.
5. Be Mindful Of Dogs
If you are an owner of a four-legged friend, we urge you clip your pet onto a leash. This way you can consider fellow runners who are not keen on being tackled by your beloved dog. At the same time, those running without furry friends should be aware of pets and keep a good distance from them and their “trippy-up” leashes.
If you come across an unrestrained dog that’s not being supervised, we encourage you to back off slowly and run down another route. Alert your animal shelter immediately if you see a stray dog wondering.
6. Consider The Weather
We know that an adrenaline-pumping run can make you feel invincible but invincible you are not! If the weather is looking sketchy, rather hit the treadmill at your local gym. Take a peek at the weather forecast before you head on out and if extreme conditions are predicted, then it might be safer to stay home.
7. Research New Locations And Trails
We fully understand that your usual routes and trails can become monotonous and boring. If you are looking for new running turf, however, make sure you do thorough research on the area (and its surroundings).
Find out what the crime rate is like, study a map of the roads/trails, and if you can, join a local running group.
8. Don’t Carry Valuables
Even small gadgets like headphones and basic mobile phones can be a temptation to thieves. Heck, even a mediocre pair of trainers is enough to encourage an attacker to make you their target. But if you keep to the minimal running items, you’re less likely to gage the interest of criminals. Even engagement and wedding rings should be left at home – your spouse will forgive you.
9. Take Self-Defence Classes
Apart from getting you out of many dangerous situations, taking self-defense classes is fun and a workout in itself. Knowing what moves to apply if someone follows you, attacks you, or threatens you can help you get away from many threatening circumstances.
Search online for a self-defense class near you. Many martial arts studios, running stores, and even colleges offer free workshops.
The Bottom Line…
These are just a few safety tips that both men and women should apply. We encourage you to add your own safety precautions to your unique running routine.
Keep in mind that you do not need to run in fear, you simply need to take precautions, be prepared, and run smart.
- 7 Ways To Stay Safe While Running Alone – City Fit Girls