As a runner, and especially a female runner, it’s important to be cautious when running. Sadly, there are too many stories out there of someone being attacked while out for a run. We can’t live in fear and forever run on the treadmill, unless that’s just what you prefer anyway. Here are a few things I bring with me, and precautions I take to help me feel safe while I’m out on a run.
I put a small mace in my hydration vest which I use on runs 10 miles and longer. If I’m running past an area that has people that make me feel nervous I take it out and hold it as I’m running past them. Just so that if they were thinking of doing anything, they may be deterred when they see that I have that handy. If I can just go a different route to avoid them though I would do that instead. There have been a few times, such as in Roseville, where I just got a bad feeling when I saw people ahead of me, and just turned around and got off the path entirely. This also offers protection against any kind of animal that might be viscous.
I also bring with me an alarm key chain. You pull it, and an alarm goes off (twice I’ve made it go off accidentally, once while in a public bathroom, and it’s pretty loud haha). This will also help against both people and animals.
Another safety precaution is to tell your partner, roommate, friend, where you will be running that day just in case. If you have iPhones then you can use the tracker that they provide so that the person at home can see where you are. My husband and I have Androids, so I turn on my location on Google maps so that he can see where I am. I also tell him about how long I will be gone.
Road I.D. is a brand that makes bracelets for you to wear that have your name, and two contact phone numbers in case, for example, you get hit by a car and are unconscious, they will know who you are and who to call. They also have extra’s you can add, such as the 26.2 badge I added to mine. They also have ones that you can attach to the band of your fitness watch. I don’t need one of those, since I already have the bracelet. It’s tempting to just get it anyway though! You can never have too many running gadgets right? 😛
Majority of runners where headphones while running, which, depending on the volume, can be a safety hazard. There are headphones by Aftershockz that don’t fully go in your ears so you can still hear what’s going on around you. On 95% of my runs I don’t listen to anything, partly because it helps me to focus, partly so that I can hear what’s going on around me. When I do have headphones in, I keep it at a low volume so I can still be aware of my surroundings.
-Run with your dog
My dogs both weigh about five pounds, so they wouldn’t be able to run very far plus they don’t look threatening at all haha. But if you have a dog that is able to run with you, and especially if it’s a big dog, that will definitely make an attacker think twice.
-Run in Groups
This one I personally have never done. When running on bike/run paths on the weekend, I am surrounded by fellow runners though. Even though I’m not running with them, it makes me feel safer. There are run groups in basically every city, or you could run with friends. I keep meaning to look up run groups, just to try out running with others. However I like running on my own, so I have a hard time being motivated to look one up.
-Self Defense Class
This is another one I have yet to do. I was signed up for one a couple months back, but we were unable to go. Knowing the basic self-defense moves I’m sure help you feel confident. Of course you should still carry mace and such as well, better safe than sorry.
What are some things you do to feel safe on your runs?