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Running alone is a wonderful thing. It allows you to set your own pace and go your own way. But it does pose its risks. Nearly half of all women have been harassed while running, with numerous accounts of assaults and worse regularly appearing on news sites.
How do you stay safe while running alone? Safety tips for running alone don’t have to be over the top. With the following tips, you can effectively protect yourself while getting your miles in.
Don’t let your guard down while running. You need to remain aware of your surroundings, from the buildings and environment around you to the people and cars you see passing by.
Don’t show your fatigue. A major worry for many runners is that they will appear tired, thus making them a mark to potential criminals and aggressors. Even as fatigued as you are, you should do your best to keep your cool – catch your breath and slow your pace if that’s what it requires. Your safety should always come first over a workout.
You want to make sure you have identification on you, in the event of a personal emergency – whether it be injury or medical crisis. Wearing something as simple as an Apple Watch medical alert bracelet is enough to keep you safe. It will allow you to carry your relevant medical information right on your wrist, as well as your name, emergency contact information, allergies and more.
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The traditional saying goes that you should listen to your gut. If you’ve found it to be true in the past, you should do the same while out on a run. Take a turn down a street that feels off? Notice someone running behind you who appears to be following you? Have you seen a car pass by a few times, and have you seen the passengers looking at you? If so, it's the right time to change your route, call for help and begin making noise to get the attention of those around you.
Don’t be afraid to carry a self-defense weapon, either. While you might not feel comfortable with it at first, a personal safety device, such as pepper spray or a keychain weapon, helps you protect yourself with ease. In the face of sudden aggression, you can wield the device to either defuse the situation while getting help or to fight off your attacker.
Chances are you’ll have your phone on you. If so, you certainly need to have a running app installed. And we don’t just mean an app that captures your GPS data, allowing you to track your mileage, elevation and pace. You should have a running app that keeps you safe. The ROAD iD running app allows you to not only share a live GPS location with friends and family, it also features an S.O.S. button in the event that you need immediate help.
While night runs are incredibly calming and peaceful, they can also be dangerous. If you do decide to run at night, you should take your precautions. Run with an illumination vest, wear a headlamp, watch your footing, listen to your surroundings and watch out for vehicles, people and stray animals.
Don’t allow yourself to be caught off-guard. While running with music can be peaceful, it can also be distracting. If you do feel as if you need music to complete a workout, settle by only running with one headphone. It will allow you to still listen to your surroundings.
Above all else, you need to protect yourself – whatever it takes. If you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation, do everything you can to stay safe. Put your whole body into it and save yourself.
Don’t play with fate on your next solo run. Instead, take precautions to ensure you remain safe from your first step to your last. Whether it’s wearing the proper gear or downloading a running app onto your phone, you need to take the time to protect yourself – before anything happens.