Ways To Feel Safer When You’re Running Alone
Question for our readers who love to run: Do you run alone? When the sun is out and you know the neighborhood, most of us aren’t afraid to strap on our running shoes and hit the pavement before work, after work, or during the weekend. But when the sun goes down and you’re out by yourself, it can be a bit uncomfortable. The truth of the matter is that when you’re a woman, running alone can be somewhat of a daunting task. And most experts will tell you that when possible, running with a buddy is best. But if you have to go it alone or just prefer it, there are ways to make yourself feel safer.
Borrow a Dog
Most of us have a neighbor (or two) with a big, friendly dog. Ask them if you could take their canine for a run and you will definitely feel safer with it by your side. Your neighbors will also be grateful that their pet is getting more exercise.
Carry Pepper Spray
Keep it on your keys and keep your keys in your hand during your run. Or, keep it in whatever pouch you wear that carries your essentials. You might never have to use it, but having a visible canister of pepper spray on your keys will help you feel (and look) prepared for anything.
Find a Crowd
If your go-to area is deserted when you run, drive to a local track or a popular path. Chances are, you will never be alone.
Time Your Runs
The next time you’re driving around, keep an eye on when other runners are out. Even if you don’t have a running buddy, running at the same time and place as other joggers can make you feel safer and seen by others.
Take One Earbud Out
That way you can jam to your music and keep an ear out for traffic, dogs and other hazards on the road.
When you’re running at night or on the road, it’s important to be visible to motorists. Wear bright colors, reflective tape or even a light on your head so you’re hard to miss.
Change up Your Routine
When you’re running in your neighborhood, you never want to be predictable to anyone watching you. Switch up your route, change up the time you run or even the days.
Take a Self-Defense Class
This one is a good idea for any woman to feel and be safer.
Run Against Traffic
So you can see cars coming in front of you instead of being surprised by one coming up behind you.
Carry Your Phone
You can use a route tracker app to help others keep track of where you are or call for help if you twist an ankle. Just Google your phone’s model to find an armband designed to store it while you run.
Invest in Exercise Gear and Equipment
If you can’t find a buddy or run during the daytime, it might be time to invest in a gym membership or equipment to keep at home.
Report Anything Suspicious Right Away
If you see something on your route that makes you uncomfortable, from reckless drivers to loose dogs, report it. You could be helping other joggers (or even yourself) stay safe in the future.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Say “hi” more often. Drop off a gift basket on holidays. Neighbors who know you are more likely to look out for your safety when you’re out on the road.
Have a Zero-Tolerance Policy
Never allow finishing a run take priority over changing directions to avoid suspicious runners, or even pepper spraying someone as soon as they make you feel uncomfortable by getting too close. It’s better to be safe than sorry.