Your are Safe While Running
1. Tell someone where you are running
If you become injured or worse while on your run, having someone know your intended route and timetable will go a long way toward helping emergency responders reach you. You can use any method you want to keep your safety buddy informed. A simple note on the fridge will do, or you could get techy and use an app like React Mobile or Runkeeper Elite.
2. Dress the part
Nothing says safety like neon. You’re probably fine to run without reflective clothing in the middle of the day, but before dawn and after dusk, you’re going to need all the help you can get to stay visible to cars, bikes, and other vehicles.
3. Be prepare for emergencies
Full pockets can be a pain, but your house key can only do so much to help protect you if you get into trouble on your run. You may also want to bring these items:
- Pepper spray or noisemaker
- Cell phone pre-dialed to 911
- Medical information, including blood type and conditions an EMT should know about
- Personal ID
- Emergency contact numbers
To carry these items without adding bulk, look into special running clothing or accessories like SPIbelt, Road ID, or Swoob.
4. get self defense training
It’s more probable that you’ll be injured by a car than attacked while running, but there’s still a chance. Self-defense training may help you carry yourself more confidently which has measurable effects on whether a predator perceives you as a victim and help you stay cool in case something does happen. Runners of below average height, who may be seen as easier targets, should look for self defense tips and techniques that will help them defend themselves against a larger attacker.
5. Be aware.
It’s easy to zone-out or contemplate what’s for dinner on a long run, but it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings as well. Simply being aware can be the difference between minutes or seconds of preventing an accident, especially in the dark when it becomes harder to distinguish objects from people.
6. Run a familiar route.
Tonight is not the time to explore that remote trail or plan a new route through the neighborhood. Stick with the paths you’ve ran a million times to the point where you’ve memorized every tree, corner and building along it. However, don’t run the same route every night either. This may create a pattern for unwanted creepers to track you. Instead establish the routes you’re comfortable running and switch it up every other night to keep it random.
7. Carry an ID on you.
Whether it’s a driver’s license in your pocket or an ID bracelet, it will prove useful if first responders need to identify you and contact loved ones.
8. Run against traffic.
Facing traffic as you run not only provides drivers a clear view of what’s ahead of them, but also gives you a visual of oncoming vehicles in case you need to make any last-minute maneuvers. If possible, try avoiding rush hour times—the less cars you have to deal with the better. If you find headlights blinding, wear a cap or visor.
5. Run with a buddy or join a running group.
As cliché as it may sound, safety is truly greater in numbers. Women should especially avoid running solo after dark in poorly lit areas.
6. Bring a cellphone.
A phone can prove useful for utilizing special tracking apps and or simply to call someone when you’re in a pinch. With a push of a button on your phone, the free bSafe app sends an emergency message or calls designated friends who can respond and even locate you on a map. You can also download the free Road ID app that allows emergency contact info to be displayed on a smartphone even when it’s locked. It also has an additional feature called eCrumb that tracks runners via GPS, allowing friends and family to follow you during a workout. Luckily, many people tend to run with their phones, but if you’re the type who likes to stay off the grid while running, perhaps it’s wise to reconsider, at least for night running.