“The More You Know” Thursday: Safety first!

by Janine@ThePurpleGiraffe on June 21, 2012

Alright, Fit Chicks… it’s time to be a bit of  a Debbie Downer, but this is important.

I run alone… a lot. Most of my runs are solo, in fact. How about you? Do you run alone?

With some scary news in the world lately (here and here), I wanted to share a few safety tips for runners:

  • Wear Identification. Whether it’s your drivers’ license or a RoadID identification band, bring some sort of identification with you on every run.
  • Run with a buddy. Okay, it’s not always feasible – and I’m one to talk, right? I just told you that the majority of my runs are solo. But if you are able, buddy up.
  • Be visible. Wear clothing with reflective material built in and if you’re running at dawn or dusk (or even at night), don a reflective vest and carry a flashlight or attach blinking lights to your clothing. Be as visible as possible to avoid getting up close and personal with a distracted motorist’s car!
  • Switch things up… don’t be TOO routine. Seriously, this is important. If you run the same route at the same time every day, people are going to notice. And sadly, that may include people who do not have your best interest in mind. I had this conversation with my mom the other day – she walks every day at lunch… the other day, she went an hour later than she usually does, and a stranger along her route commented “You’re late today!” He may have been harmless, but then again, he may not have been. Creepy. Switch things up.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. I know that a lot of people run with headphones in – I’m one of them. But this increases vulnerability because it blocks one of the most important senses while running – hearing! Keep your volume as low as you can. Maybe run with one earbud out, so you can hear approaching footsteps, dogs barking or any other noises around you. Better yet, get a RoadNoise Vest or something similar so that your ears are not covered!
  • Bring your cell phone. I know. It sucks. I hate carrying my bulky phone with me when I run, and I don’t like wearing an arm band either. But I’d rather have my phone and be uncomfortable than need my phone and not have it. On the same note…
  • TELL SOMEONE where you’re going and about how long you plan to be gone. When I go for a solo run, I’ll plan my intended route out on MapMyRun or something similar, and leave it up on the computer screen until I get home, with a note about what time I left and what time I expect to be back. That way, if my husband gets home and I’m not there, he has an idea of where I’ve gone. There’s even an app for that.
  • Carry pepper spray. It’s cheap and effective ($5 on Amazon)… Note that I specifically say CARRY it. Don’t stick it in your pocket or SpiBelt – you may not be able to access it fast enough if you need it.
  • Trust your gut. If something seems “off” or if you get a gut feeling that something is just not right, pay attention to that feeling. Turn around, change your route, cross to the other side of the street.

I know, it’s pretty sad that we even have to take precautions like this – I mean, we’re just RUNNING, right?

But I’d rather be safe than sorry.

*There’s a new tool in safety coming down the pike, but only if they get enough support by 7/13 – the Bia GPS Sports Watch has a built-in audible alarm that when activated (held in for 3 seconds) will sound loudly and automatically alert authorities and designated family members via text with your location. I’m a backer – are you?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa
Twitter: lisaeirene
June 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

GREAT tips. I have a Road ID I always wear running or biking. I take my iPhone with me. I usually run in the neighborhood so I know the area well.

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2 MyTravelFitness.com
Twitter: alveohealth
July 4, 2012 at 6:56 am

This willl be a bit challenging coz I run light. The GPS watch should be a good idea, also, run only in routes with people around at least! Thanks for your reminders. mytravelfitness.com

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