Hey Everyone! It’s been awhile since I have done a Friday Five. In honor of June being Runner Safety Month I thought I would do a Friday Five today with five tips on staying safe while running alone. I know…I know…it’s best to run with someone else or a bunch of someones. But, if we’re being honest, that doesn’t always happen. Many times, or in my case, most of the time, we are running alone.
In those times, it’s even more important to keep yourself safe. I’ve put together a list of safety tips that I make sure to follow every time I go out on a run. Of course, there are way more than ways to stay safe during a run, so you’re getting a bonus tip too!
We have to keep ourselves safe!
You always want to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t put your earbuds in and zone out. That is so dangerous! I always wear only one earbud and keep the volume turned down. You need to be able to hear if someone is coming up behind you, a car is coming towards you, or an angry dog is coming for you. If you aren’t listening, you may not hear any of those things.
You always want to make sure you watch your surroundings. Are there any strange cars driving slowly past you? Is anyone following you? Is someone watching you? Is a car coming right at you and not moving over? That happens to me a lot and I have to jump in the ditch. It’s so important that you are always paying close attention to what’s going on around you.
Trust your Intuition
If you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. Trust your gut feeling. If you are going to run on an isolated trail and you feel uneasy about it, it’s probably not a good idea to do it alone. If a car keeps driving past you and you feel anxious, trust that feeling. The best thing to do would be to find somewhere public to stop and let someone know. Just remember to trust yourself. If you feel any kind of nervousness, doubt, or fear, listen to those feelings. Don’t put yourself in a situation that could be very dangerous.
If possible, it’s probably a good idea to run somewhere that isn’t isolated or deserted. You want other people around so if you do get into a dangerous situation, there is hopefully someone around that will help you.
Tell Someone Where You’re Going
Always let someone know where you are going to be, and how long you plan on being there. It’s a good idea to let someone know where you will be running and how long you think you will be there. That way if you aren’t back in a certain amount of time, someone will know to look for you. If possible, have someone track you on your phone or training watch. My Garmin does that, and every time I leave the house I turn it on so my husband can always track me. If he’s out of town, I send the tracker to my mom. I always feel safer when I know that someone is watching out for me and knows where I am.
Ok, we probably don’t want to go running while packing a gun in our running belt. How uncomfortable! Although I do actually know a few people who carry a gun while running. If this isn’t something that your comfortable with, there are other things that you can carry. I always carry pepper spray. It may not be much, but it could be just enough to give you time to get away from a dangerous situation. And, if someone sees you carrying it, it may be a good deterrent to keep them away.
Don’t be afraid to fight back in any situation. Make noise, call attention to yourself, let others around you know you’re in trouble. Use your protection! If you’re like me, you may not want to hurt someone. I was like this with a dog. It bit me, and even after that when it came at me I had a hard time using my pepper spray on it. But, it was either that or get bit again. Don’t worry about anyone or anything else. Protect yourself!
If you are ever in the situation where you have to fight back, DO IT! Fight as hard as you can, scream, kick, hit. Do whatever you have to do to hurt your attacker.
Bonus Tip: Mix it up
If you run the same route at the same time every day you could become an easy target. Someone might start noticing your running schedule. Try to mix it up. Run different routes, different times of the day, or different days of the week. You don’t want to make yourself an easy target.
Keep these safety tips in mind next time you go out for a run!