Your safety as a runner should be at the forefront of your mind as you plan your daily routines. Because of limited hours during the day due to hectic daily schedules, at times you have to do your running in low light. You need to know so much regarding running safety.
In as much as it may seem daunting, do not let the cover of darkness to prevent you from going out. It doesn’t matter whether it’s during the day or at night. The key to a safe running session is in staying alert and following these 10 running safety tips.
- 1 10 Safety Tips Every Runner Needs to Know
- 1.1 1. Keep the Music Volume Down
- 1.2 2. Invest in Running Lights
- 1.3 3. There is Safety In Numbers
- 1.4 4. Run in the Opposite Direction as Traffic
- 1.5 5. Frequently Change Route and Running Directions
- 1.6 6. Research on New Routes First
- 1.7 7. Crowded Routes are the Safest
- 1.8 8. Inform Someone of your intended routes
- 1.9 9. Learn Some Self Defense Techniques
- 1.10 10. Pepper Spray is one of the best lines of defense
- 2 Conclusion
10 Safety Tips Every Runner Needs to Know
1. Keep the Music Volume Down
If you love listening to music like me, then you know how great of a motivator music is, especially when working out. However, it can also be distracting, more so when you have the volumes cranked up to top volumes. Loud music prevents you from being fully alert to your surroundings.
In poorly lit conditions, you need to be aware of where other runners, obstacles, animals, and motorists are. Inhibiting your hearing means you expose yourself more to these dangers. Lowering the volume still gives you the motivation you desire while still remaining safe. Better yet, your best bet is to leave your earphones at home.
2. Invest in Running Lights
For those of you who are hard-pressed for running time in broad daylight, investing in a running light is the best solution to keeping you visible. A common buy among runners is lighted vests and headlamps. These enable you to have a clearer view of the road ahead.
At the same time, drivers are able to spot you from behind or front, even when in the cover of darkness. I have seen a ton of different types of these vests, some with articulate blinking lights. Ensure the one you are buying is lightweight enough not to weigh you down. These lights still come in handy even when your jogging paths have streetlights.
3. There is Safety In Numbers
More often than not, I have heard lots of crazy stories about runners being kidnapped by some crazy stalkers. To ensure you don’t fall victim of any such unfortunate events, team up with a couple of friends. There are numerous crazy and awesome runners out here, just like you.
Eeh! But I usually run late in the evening. Do not worry. You would be surprised at the number of athletes you will meet along the way at that time. If you are tech savvy, then track your movements using the designated app. Then, you will have someone knowing where you are at all times.
4. Run in the Opposite Direction as Traffic
This is one of the oldest safety tricks in the books of conventional running. By running against the flow of traffic, you essentially put yourself at a vantage point. You are able to see where any potential danger may arise from. In addition, drivers have a clearer view of you, thus avoiding accidents.
Since you are in a position to see oncoming traffic first, it becomes much easier to get out of the way. Be on the lookout for headlights around corners too. Ensure the car has passed before you can safely run across the road.
5. Frequently Change Route and Running Directions
Taking the same route every day puts you in unforeseeable danger. You never know when an assailant or stalker could be lurking with intent to harm you. Therefore, making yourself unpredictable makes you a lot safer.
Additionally, varying routes makes you more alert, than running on an obviously familiar route. A new terrain increases your alertness. Part of running entails overcoming the routes that make you uncomfortable. Having someone learn your routine is off the table, especially if you are alone runner (which you shouldn’t be).
6. Research on New Routes First
As you alternate between terrains, do not use one that you are not very conversant with. You should first establish an unwavering degree of confidence and knowledge about the route you are about to take. This requires meticulous planning before embarking on your daily runs.
A new route would make you appear confused and unaware, thus becoming an easy target. I can say the same for a route that you barely know. Being unaware of what to expect ahead isn’t a situation I ever want to find myself in. Being familiar with your environment gives you a vantage point in case of an attack.
7. Crowded Routes are the Safest
To be safe from being prey or a victim of an attack, stick to routes that are crowded or with a sizeable number of people. At times, I am tempted to take a shortcut that usually passes through isolated streets, but then I remember this golden safety rule of running.
It is within isolation that hell breaks loose for some unfortunate runners. Whether you are an intended victim or not, you may suffer from unintended consequences of being a loner. Plus, when in a crowd, you motivate one another when the going gets tough. There is also ready help in case you need it if you can’t find a buddy to tag along.
8. Inform Someone of your intended routes
In extreme cases where you can’t find a safe and crowded route, then inform someone back at home of where you are headed. Leave details such as what time you are likely to come back, the route you will be using, and whether you will be headed back home afterward.
As I had hinted earlier, there are several apps that you can install on your phone for tracking purposes. One example is the MapMyRun app with a feature that allows others to track your run live. And when you don’t want to be tracked, simply turn the feature off.
9. Learn Some Self Defense Techniques
You do not have to be fully versed with self-defense mechanisms, but you need just a couple of techniques to be safe out there. I use the SING acronym when describing self-defense for runners. The S is for the stomach. For an attack from behind, aim for the assailant’s stomach.
Secondly, while he/she is nursing the pain from the punch, step on their Instep. Consequently, you then get a chance to take a swing on the Nose, then the Groin with your knee. Put in writing like this, it seems straightforward, but it isn’t. It requires constant practice to pull off, more so when in distress.
10. Pepper Spray is one of the best lines of defense
Whether it’s a five or a sixty-mile run, there are plenty of predators that you won’t outrun out there. Your neighbor’s aggressive Chihuahua is a good example. Naturally, we humans aren’t designed to outsprint predators, hence the need for a reliable means of self-defense.
Step up pepper spray. It’s simple, yet innovative in outsmarting and paralyzing attackers or junior boys trying to be too corny with your daughter. You may not need it all of the time, meaning there is no need to tuck it in your pocket every time. When the route passes through a secluded area, you better be prepared for the lions or any ferocious animal.
Running safety is a must whenever you are going for a run, even if it’s only a mile. Apart from being in comfortable footwear and light clothes, keeping these 10 safety tips in mind helps you keep fit as much as you wish. Whenever you are unsure of whether to step out or not, remember a treadmill is always a worthwhile option.