Safety Tips for Running Alone
I thoroughly enjoy running with a group of friends, but sometimes, either out of necessity or choice, I run alone. When running alone (at any time of the day but especially before sunrise or at night) it is very important to think about your safety. Here are some important tips to consider to make sure you stay safe.
Don’t be routine
Run at different times and choose different routes. You can even try running your route backwards. Anything to prevent a pattern. Though attacks can be random, some are based on a perpetrator watching for patterns.
Make sure you are seen
Don’t assume that drivers see you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stop and get off the road for a driver who has all their attention on their phone. Try to move away from vehicles; don’t just assume they see you and will move for you. Also, wear clothing that makes you more visible and use lights and reflective devices. There are many different styles of running lights to chose from. You can find a review here of the best lights for running.
Run facing traffic
Another good way to make sure you are seen is to run facing traffic. Facing traffic makes it much easier for you to see and move out of the way of vehicles. And always look before you change direction. Never make the assumption that nothing’s behind you. Just because you don’t hear it doesn’t mean there’s nothing behind you.
Make sure someone knows your route
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. This will alert someone if you don’t return when expected and they will know where to look for you.
If you use an iPod or other listening device, have an earbud only in one ear. Keep the volume low enough that you can hear your footsteps and breathing.
Carry your phone
This is a great idea for multiple reasons. You can listen to music or a podcast and of course you can reach out for help if you sustain an injury, aren’t feeling well or feel unsafe. Use a belt, arm band, or pocket to carry your phone rather than carrying it in your hand. Carrying your phone in your hand can affect your running form.
If you are in an accident or have a medical emergency, wearing identification can ensure that those coming to your aid have the information to alert your emergency contacts. You can also list any allergies or medical issues. Click here for a link to Road ID, a company that makes personal identification that is easy to wear while exercising. You can personalize the information you put on your ID.
There are mobile device apps for your personal safety that you can use to do everything from alerting specific contacts if you fail to check in, sending out an SOS, to keeping you connected 24/7 to dispatch. Click here for a list of free personal safety apps.
by Lois Waite