It would be great if we could all just lace up, tune out, and run on. However, some people out there will straight-up take advantage of a lone runner trying log a few miles. Running safety is a team effort, so let’s look out for each other. And like any team, our individual actions matter, too. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you head out the door.
Find a Friend: Solo miles are a beautiful, cathartic thing. But the biggest deterrent to victimization is a running buddy. Yes, there is indeed safety in numbers. Find a running buddy and be willing to be flexible on start times, locations, mileage and such. Need some new running friends? There’s literally a run club that meets most any day of the week. Or, call your local specialty run shop. Most of them host weekly runs, too!
Run With the Sun: This tip for runner safety is one that we’re sure you’ve heard before; and for good reason. You should run when the sun is out. You can see everything around you, other people and cars can easily see you, and crime occurs less frequently in daylight hours. All of those sound like wins to us.
Light the Way: If you have to run in the dark consider running with lights. You’ll want to have lights so cars and people can see you, and you can see them as well as your environment. Your eyes are your first line of defense, so make sure you are staying vigilant if you are running at night. Consider lights that attach to your clothing and a hand or headlight to illuminate your surroundings.
Shake Up Your Route: Make sure your routes aren’t always the same. For one, a new route can let you see new parts of your city and will keep your runs fresh and interesting. Choosing a new route also has the added benefit of making you less predictable to those that might not have the best intentions. If your only safe route is the same route, then vary your start times and the direction of your run.
Take Control of Your Apps: Speaking of your route, it doesn’t matter very much if you change up your route if you are posting it to Strava, MapMyRun, and social media. Consider whether or not you need to share the map from every run. If you do enjoy posting your running map at every run use the security settings on apps like Strava to hide your start and end locations. This is especially important if you are starting and ending your workouts at home.
Trust Your Instincts: It’s important to trust yourself. If you feel like something is wrong, then consider changing your route, cutting a run short, or even skipping a run entirely. Safety is always preferable to putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Trust yourself and be an advocate for your own safety on every run! And if you see something suspicious or something that makes you uncomfortable, like the saying goes, “if you see something, say something.”
* Excerpted from our original piece, “Safety First.”