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Safety Tips for Running Alone

Sharmistha Sarkar Mar 17, 2020
Running is effective in boosting health and is a pleasurable activity. Having a running partner is a nice idea, but some may prefer to run solo. Running alone may prove to be risky if the right safety measures are not taken. Here are some safety tips for running alone.

Stay Alert

While running alone, pay attention to what's happening around you. Be watchful about any strange activity or a potential threat on your way.
Running or jogging makes for a great workout. Plus, it does not require any cost and can be done at any time of the day. Its benefits are numerous. It strengthens the bones and muscles, improves the functioning of body organs, relieves stress, improves blood circulation, keeps you active, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
While running is beneficial in many ways, it is important to know the safety measures when doing it alone. There are potential risks pertaining to traffic on the way, the road and trail conditions, and potential attackers. Unknown people or even animals may pose a risk to your safety while running alone.
Runners, especially females, should follow some smart tips so that the exercise becomes fun, beneficial, and safe too. Here are the safety tips and precautions to take when running solo, so that your run is safe and fun!

Safety Tips

Take the roads you know

Avoid unknown, heavily wooded, poorly lit, or isolated roads. Always choose known and highly traveled routes like tracks in residential areas. This way, there will be someone available to help you if a problem occurs.
Also, choose even surfaces for your runs and carry a map. Avoid running through trails during the night.

Run during the daytime

Running during the daylight hours is most likely to keep the attackers away.

Inform others about your route

Never leave the house without informing at least one person in the family. Tell them where you would be running and the approximate time to return. This way they will know where to look for you in case something happens.

Change your routes and timings

Try and alter your running routes. Taking the same route makes you too comfortable with it, and chances are that you stay less alert while running. Also, you become an easy target for attackers. Sticking to the same timing everyday as well as the route, makes it easier for the attackers to predict your schedule. So, alter your time of running.

Avoid high-traffic areas

If running on a road, prefer the sidewalk.
If there is no sidewalk, keep safe distance from the vehicles and choose a timing when the traffic is less. Preferably, do not run in the direction of the traffic.

Avoid wearing headphones

Avoid using headphones or use them in one ear instead of both. Also, keep the volume of the music low. Any potential threat to your safety (people, animals, or traffic) might go unnoticed if you are listening to very loud music.

Keep a mace or pepper spray and a knife handy

Keep a mace or pepper spray with you or strap it to your wrist when running alone in a secluded area. These sprays may or may not be legal in your area. So check with the local authorities. Or carry a knife for self-defense.

Follow your instincts

You can sense if something is wrong if you pay attention to your instincts. Take notice of any strange behavior by anyone around and change your route if you sense something dangerous. If you feel that a certain area is not safe for running alone, avoid it.

Carry your identification

Carry a personal identification like a driver's license or a runner's ID tag while running solo. Keep an emergency contact number with you.

Carry a whistle

A whistle can be worn around your neck, wrist, or waist. In case you sense danger, it can be used to ask for help.

Water and food

Carry one or two energy bars with you. In case you feel fatigued in between the run, you may have one. Carry a bottle of water or juice. Sip it in between the workout or when you feel tired. See that you do not start running immediately after eating. Do not eat anything heavy just before or during the run. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the workout.

Right clothing and gear

Wear bright-colored clothes. Also, you may wear reflective vests, headlamps, or running flashlights while running in low-lit or dark areas. Wear compression tights or compression socks to reduce chances of injuries to muscles or ligaments.

Carry your phone

Make sure that you have your cell phone with you while running alone. You should be able to call the emergency number or your family if required.
Apps that can detect your location or send signals to chosen contacts can also be of help in case you are in a difficult situation.

Carry some cash

Keep some money or a credit card in your pocket, shoe, or belt to be safe in case anything unexpected happens. You can buy something or pay for the cab if you lose your way or feel tired to get back home. Do not carry too much cash or jewelry.

Know the weather

See if the weather would be pleasant or appropriate for running. Check the weather forecast so that you can be prepared. You may not be able to run if it rains heavily or if there is snow. And it is not advisable to run on a very sunny day, as the heat will cause more sweating and exhaust you sooner.

Check your pace

Maintain a decent speed while running. Splash some cold water on your head and neck. It will help maintain your body temperature.

Wear good shoes

Shoes that have rugged soles are a better option as they can bear uneven or slippery surfaces. Also, the shoes should bend easily and have a shock-absorbing material. They should fit you well and you should feel comfortable running in them.

Seek medical advice

In case you hurt yourself when running, stop and call the doctor. Do the same in case of any other health problem (like feeling dizzy or extremely fatigued) that you may face while running.

Take your dog along

Dogs can serve to protect you from anything that threatens your safety. They can sense danger before you are able to. So, if jogging alone, it is a good idea to take your or your friend's/neighbor's pet dog with you.

In case an animal attacks

If you encounter an aggressive dog on the way, avoid turning and running. Instead, stand still and be calm until the dog leaves. In case you face a dog attack, divert its attention away from you. In case you are pulled down, curl and cover your face with the hands. Avoid screaming.
If these safety tips are followed, your run alone won't be all that risky. Happy exercising.