Safety tips for running are important for every runner to know, but especially female runners. Women running alone can often become targets for crime depending on the circumstances. But that’s not the only reason to be cautious when running. There are other situations that can be dangerous or harmful if not handled in the correct way. Here are my top safety tips for running so you can enjoy your run knowing you have taken extra precautions to prevent bad things from happening!
1. Tell Someone Where You Are Going
The first of my safety tips for running is to always tell someone where you are going, when you plan to be back, and the route you are taking. If you aren’t back by the expected time, someone will know to come and look for you. If possible, take a running buddy! Not only is this a safety measure, but it will also help to keep your mind off of the time.
2. Carry Pepper Spray
For females running alone, it’s always a good idea to have some form of protection. Self-defense classes are good, but I recommend pepper spray. When faced with a wild animal or dog that won’t back down, pepper spray will deter the animal and give you a chance to escape. And of course pepper spray can protect you from a potential attacker as well.
3. Always Take Water
When running, dehydration is a terrible enemy, especially in the summer months. Always take enough water to sustain you for the length of time you plan to run. And make sure you are well hydrated when you set out to begin your run as well.
4. Avoid Dark Alleys
It’s best to steer clear of dark alleys, questionable neighborhoods, or lonely and dark streets on your run. If you like to run on secluded paths, try to go during daytime hours. And never run the same route at the same time every day or week. Switch up your routes and the time of day you run to confuse or discourage stalkers!
5. Deal Properly with Animals
Depending on where you live or where you like to run, you may come into contact with animals on occasion. It’s rarely a problem, but scared or mad animals are liable to attack. When faced with possible danger, don’t panic. Make very slow moves and back away, speaking in soothing tones. Once you have placed enough distance between you and the animal, run away as fast as you can!
6. Prevent Injuries
Getting injured while running is not a pretty picture to think about, but there have been plenty of runners who have hurt themselves, even to the point of broken bones! Learn to dress properly for the weather climate. If it’s hot out, run during cooler parts of the day and don’t overdress. For cool or rainy weather, a light jacket and shoes with traction are good ideas. Always stretch properly before and after your run to prevent injury over time.
7. Carry Essentials
What essentials should you carry while running? Your picture ID, a little bit of money, a phone, pepper spray, and water. Sounds like a lot, but here is why. In case you fall and get badly injured, you may need your ID to get medical attention or be identified in the event that you are unresponsive. The money is good in case you need to buy more water or take a cab home. Your phone will come in handy should you need to call for help, and water will prevent dehydration. The pepper spray is for personal protection.
8. Ditch the Headphones
So many people think they can’t run without music. If you fall into this category, it’s best to do your running indoors on a treadmill. Running outdoors on the street requires you to be able to use all your senses. If you can’t hear, you may miss the sound of a car, a dog barking, or someone shadowing you.
While these tips are effective and efficient if you follow them, remember that it’s still possible for injuries or accidents to occur. Use common sense when running, and try to be mindful of your sixth sense. If something feels fishy, it probably is. Better safe than sorry! What are your safety tips for running?