There are a lot of reasons why people choose to run alone. Maybe you don’t like running with a partner or you don’t have a lot of time to commit to running with someone else. Whatever your reasons, running alone can be a great way to get in some exercise and clear your head. But it’s important to be aware of the risks that come with running alone and take precautions to ensure your safety.
When it comes to runner safety, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Just as there are different types of people, there are also different types of situations. That’s why it’s important to have a variety of tools and strategies at your disposal to keep yourself safe. Here are some of the best safety tips for running alone:
1. Let someone know your route and the estimated time of return.
It is important to make sure that you tell a designated emergency contact where you are going before you go for your run. Whether it’s your family, a friend, or even a neighbour, make sure to inform them of where you will be and when. This way, they can track your location should anything happen while you are out running that requires an emergency response.
2. Stick to areas that are well-travelled and well-lit. Avoid shortcuts through wooded or poorly lit areas.
Stay on well-travelled and well-lit roads to avoid becoming a victim of a crime or being harassed while running. Well-lit roads are less likely to have criminals lurking in the shadows, and well-travelled roads are more likely to have witnesses if something does happen. Avoid running in isolated or poorly lit areas. This can be unsafe and puts you at risk of an attacker or mugger.
When running late at night or in poorly lit areas, make sure to wear a headlamp and stay on well-lit roads as much as possible and avoid shortcuts through the woods. This will help you avoid potential hazards like uneven terrain, tree branches, and potholes that can lead to a fall. Additionally, when on an unfamiliar running route where you do not know the path, try to stick close to the road so that you’re always visible.
3. Ditch the headphones.
One of the most common risks associated with running is listening to music or podcasts. You might feel like you’re in your own little world when listening to your favourite jams. But, this can actually put you at risk for injury because you may not be paying attention to your surroundings and what’s happening around you. If there’s one thing that every runner should remember, it’s that the only way to stay safe while out on a run is to pay attention to your surroundings and not get lost in your own thoughts.
4. Carry your phone.
Bring your phone. This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you’re always safe while running. It’s easy and simple, but it can make all the difference in preventing an accident or life-threatening injury. If possible share (with your emergency contact) your location via GPS and make sure to carry ID in case of emergency, too!
5. If someone looks shady, cross the street or go the other way.
When running solo, always be mindful of your surroundings and signs of danger. If someone looks shady to you, cross the street or go the other way so that you can get to a safe location. If you doubt a person’s intentions, then avoid them at all costs. This means if someone is following you as well as following you for too long, then it is recommended that you stop and go somewhere else. Another safety tip is to remember that running isn’t just a physical activity; it’s also an important mental one because it requires concentration and focus on something other than what’s going on around you. So even if there is someone running behind you, they’ll only get in the way of your personal thoughts and exercise goals.
6. Vary your routes. Don’t be predictable.
Vary your routes so that you can avoid danger zones and potential traps. Don’t be predictable; always vary your route so that anyone who might want to do something malicious will not know what path you usually take.
7. Know where you’re going. Looking confused and lost can make you a target.
Before you take off on your run, look around to see where you are going and if there is anything nearby that you should avoid. If the route you’ve chosen has a lot of people, animals, or traffic, then you should know the area well enough to know what to expect. If you are unsure about where to go for your run, use maps and turn-by-turn directions before heading out. It is important to be aware of your surroundings because running can carry risks when running in unfamiliar areas.
8. Don’t be distracted.
When running, make sure that you have your head up and keep your eyes open as perpetrators specifically look for people who aren’t 100 percent aware of their surroundings. Don’t be distracted by anything in your path, whether it’s a conversation with a jogger or the phone in your hand. And don’t complete any tasks while running—whether it be taking out the trash or grabbing something from the store. If you want to stay safe while running, then stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you at all times.
9. Run confidently, meaning tall and focused, to display confidence.
When you run tall and confidently, people can see that you know what you’re doing and that you’re in control of your body. It also means being focused on your stride as well as looking ahead at where the path might go next. It also means being aware of everything around you in case there is any danger around the corner or something unexpected happens down the road.
10. Trust your gut. If something or someone doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
When it comes to personal safety, it’s always best to trust your instincts. If you feel like something isn’t safe or could be dangerous, err on the side of caution and take measures to protect yourself. This is especially important when running alone – if you have any worries about being wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re ever in doubt, call for help or go another way. When crossing a street, for example, make sure you’re visible and alert so that drivers can see you. And if you ever feel like you’re in danger, don’t hesitate to call for help.
11. If possible, run with a dog, a group or at least one other person.
If possible, run with a group of people or a dog that can help keep an eye out for danger and provide backup if needed. If you’re running in an unfamiliar or potentially dangerous area, then it’s best to run with someone else. Local Running groups are a great way to stay safe and meet other runners. Not only will you have safety in numbers, but you’ll also be able to share tips and advice.
12. Learn some self-defence.
The world can be a dangerous place. That’s why it’s important to know how to protect yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to take self-defence classes. Self-defence classes can teach you how to defend yourself in a variety of situations. They can also help you build confidence and feel more empowered. There are a lot of different self-defence classes out there, so it’s important to find one that’s right for you. Look for a class that covers the basics of self-defence, such as strikes, blocks, and submission holds.
Don’t be afraid to use your voice. If someone is harassing you or making you feel uncomfortable, speak up. Yelling can be an effective way to get someone’s attention and help to scare them off.
In conclusion, follow the above tips to stay safe while running alone. Let someone know your route and when to expect you back, carry a phone and ID, be aware of your surroundings, and trust your gut. By being proactive and prepared, you can enjoy worry-free solo runs.