Trail running isn’t something to fear, but you do need some safety tips for trail running so you don't get hurt. As long as you’re safe about it then trail running can easily become your friend. Remember, you know yourself better than anyone else to trust your gut on its initial feeling. Don’t put yourself into a situation that could have easily been avoided. These 7 safety tips for trail running will help you be safe every time you hit the trail.
1. Planning out Your Route is One of the Best Things You Can do
One of the most important safety tips for trail running is to plan your route. Sticking to this route will potentially save you if something happens. Let someone know your route. You can easily write it down and stick it in a drawer. This adds extra safety. If your partner knows how long you should be out running and you don't come back within this time, he can come look for you or text you to be sure you're ok.
2. Be Super Mindful of Other People While Running
Just like you, they are trying to get their fitness on. Running on the right side of the sidewalk or trail is always the right thing to do, just as if you were driving. If you’re actively approaching someone going slow, politely move to the right of them and give them a quick “on your left” or “behind you”. The last thing you want to do is completely scare them, this ain’t Halloween.
3. If You Are Running with a Dog Keep an Eye out
I love to run with my dog because she keeps my pace steady. While having a companion with you for your run may sound like a great idea at first, it could end up completely wreaking havoc on your day of cardio. A safe thing to do if you see another person walking with a dog up ahead would be to go ahead and wrangle your dog in via the leash. You don’t necessarily have to stop your stride to control your dog, but having her close to you and possibly to the other side of you is a great help for you and the other person. I simply just wrap my leash around my arm several times, until she is running just to the side of me.
4. If You Find Yourself in an Unfamiliar or Even Just Creepy Area
Rr even just feel you’re being followed (hey, it certainly happens), especially when the night is falling around you, be on high alert until you feel you are back to safety. Something I do is unplug my headphones and turn my volume up loud so someone knows I’m around. Another trick to do, even if you aren’t in any danger and just enjoying the run, just give a quick turn back occasionally. Nothing too crazy but just to keep an eye on things. It is better to know your surroundings than being totally unfamiliar with what's going on around you.
5. Speaking of Music
Something I’ve always believed in doing while going on a run is to not wear noise-canceling headphones. You should be able to hear what's going on around you. You should always be aware of the noises that are being made around while you’re running, whether it be a loose dog or someone in need of help or even a car. It’s a great idea to not be blasting music in your ears while you're on a run.
6. Warn Others
You’re not the only one on these trails most of the time. Humans, as well as animals, will be there. If you see something, a snake or loose dog (or something worse depending on where you live), tell the oncoming people about it. You’re not only thinking about yourself,but the others around you, which is the right thing to do. If Someone stops you to tell you something of this nature, take a second from your run, pull out your headphones and really listen to them. Be serious with them if you’re the one who has seen something. Your safety is more important than getting a few extra strides in.
7. Common Sense
I cannot stress this enough. If night is falling while you’re still going after it, take a safer route. Running on a well-lit sidewalk, rather than the trails surrounding the lake at night is a better option for you.
If you feel like you are being followed, don’t go to your house. Casually knock on a friendly neighbor's house and calmly tell them what is going on, go inside and call the police. Stay there until things are handled appropriately.