Keeping Safe When Running – Don’t Be a Victim

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Part of the benefit of running for me is the chance to spend time alone and clear my head. Since hearing the tragic story of Sherry Arnold, I’ve been thinking more about keeping myself safe while running.

I polled my running buddies, and came up with 11 rules to keep safe while on the road.

1.Buddy system

I rarely run alone, especially for longer distances. Don’t forget – safety in numbers. Plus,it makes the miles go by faster.

2. Obey the road rules

Did you know that when you run on the road, you’re supposed to run FACING oncoming traffic? I follow this rule about 90 percent of the time – my husband, not so much. It’s a good thing he’s more of a trail runner.

headphones for running

3. No headphones when on the road

I’ll admit that I don’t follow the rules for this one very much. If you’re like me, and MUST have music, turn the volume down, so that you can hear an approaching runner, cyclist, dog or car. Crank up your tunes as loud as they will go while at the gym.

4.ID, phone and cash

My husband makes me a little crazy when he goes for a run. He’s a minimalist, so he runs with nothing except for the dog. Me? I have my phone, ID, and a couple of dollars.

Getting a Road ID is on my wish list for when I start running again this summer. Need a place to stash your gear when running? I’ve used an arm band, as well as a spi belt.

5. Stick to well populated, well lit areas

My friend Kriston loves Iroquois Park for runs. Me, not so much. There’s a secluded area on the back side that gives me the heebie jeebies there, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable running there alone.

reflective lights for runners

6.Don’t run before dawn, or after sundown

I have friends who would disagree with me, especially during marathon training season and hot Kentucky summers. If you’ve got to get in 20 miles, starting before sunrise is a reasonable thought, before temperatures and humidity skyrocket. Some of my friends have even suggested reflective lights – clip on blinkies or even headlamps so that you’ll be visible to cars, cyclists and others.

7.Trust your instincts

If a person or situation makes you uncomfortable, trust your instincts and get out of there.

8.Pay Attention

Make eye contact, or speak to everyone you pass/meet on the road. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month – trust your instincts and be aware.

brooks reflective shirt

9.Light colored or reflective clothing

You make look cool in your black top and black shorts, but you’ll be about as visible as a burglar. Wear white or bright colored shirts, or throw a reflective vest on top. (this goes along with Rule #6)

10.Consider a weapon
I have plenty of friends who run with guns, knives or some other form of defense. They’re not crazy – just keeping themselves safe.

11.Tell someone where you’re going, but be smart

Let your husband/significant other know where you’re going, how long you’re running, and when to expect you back. I tell Brett, ‘if I’m not back in 45 min, send out the posse’. You may want to reconsider the Facebook and Twitter posts that announce where you’ll be heading. Make your Garmin routes private. Random Bad Guys exist on social media too. Save that for after you’ve finished.

Am I missing some of your best tips for running safety? Be sure and let me know in the comments!

This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesdays, Tip Me TuesdayThe Mommy Club, Works for Me Wednesday, and more.


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Comments

  1. Fantastic tips! Safety is so important and I love that you’re spreading the word!

    So sad about Sherry too! 🙁

  2. I agree with all of them, but especially #11. I tell DH or mom (depending on which one I drop the baby off with) where I”m going and how long I’ll be gone. But NEVER, NEVER post it on the internet!
    Also, I think pepper spray is the way to go with weapons (JMHO).

  3. Wow, what a sad story, this is the first I’ve heard of it! So thoughtful of you to write this list! #2 is a weird one though, because I am pretty sure where I live, we are required to go the same way that traffic is going, which has always made me uncomfortable because I want to see before I get hit by the car.. >.>
    Love #8. again, something I didn’t realize.. I’ve heard all about Autism Awareness, but this is the first time I’ve heard anything about National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month!
    #11 I totally agree with! People just don’t realize how dangerous Facebook can be.. announcing where you’re going not only tells the attacker where you are but it also tells people that you’re not at home… which can bring other scary situations to rise..

    This is such a great list, I enjoyed reading it and learning! Hope you have a great Tuesday!

    -Samantha

    KreativeKaring.com

  4. These are good tips! I run alone a lot and I think one of the best things you can do is to be aware of your surroundings! Also, I think it’s funny that you say some runners carry a gun. Where? Where do they put it? If your husband goes out with the dog, does he make the dog carry it!? 🙂

  5. Great tips! I follow most of those, although I do run most of my runs alone. But I stick to well populated trails and always go in the daylight. It’s a good reminder to carry a little more with me, too… I tend to be minimalist like your husband and just grab my garmin and run out the door!

  6. These are really fabulous tips!

    I keep safe by not running at all. (Of course, my heart thinks that’s a pretty junkie idea.)

  7. Great post! I’d only add- be modest in clothing- what women take for simply comfortable and light can be perceived by predator men as attracting- not too tight fitting, too high or too low or skin showing ….

    Nice blog! 🙂

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