Running is part of the physical activity routine of most women around the world. It helps them to stay active or simply wind down after a long day. Wherever objective you pursue, if you like to run alone, we know your safety is one of the top priorities.
We recently read some sad news about Eliza Fletcher, a St. Mary’s Episcopal School teacher, who was abducted and murdered while running alone near the University of Memphis Friday. We are deeply concerned about this situation and want to keep raising awareness by providing essential recommendations about how to run alone safely.
For women, Eliza's story is one in a thousand they have heard in their entire lives and is a constant reminder to never let their guard down on personal safety measures when going outside alone.
You can see the vulnerability of women runners is demonstrated in the following statistics, according to Runners World Study
• 73% percent say those concerns have inspired them to run with a phone.
• 60% percent to limit their runs to daylight hours.
• 52% percent to change running routes.
These figures are not only numbers but the reality of women everyday’s life. Incidents that are random, uncontrollable, and terrifying, are the main reason why most females know self-defense techniques or carry a self-defense kit to protect themselves against abusers.
Depending on where you live you need to get creative about where and when you set out. The ideal is to run in daylight, when possible. But If you're running in the early morning, at night, or even at dusk, you should dress in light, bright, or reflective clothing. Choose colors like white, yellow, orange, neon green, or light blue, which will help you to be visible in your path.
You may want to read: 6 Night Driving Safety Tips You Should Know for Future Road Trips
Another recommendation to take into account to be safe while running alone is to avoid isolated areas, it is recommended running where you know you’ll be able to call a bystander to your aid in case of emergency. Also, try to run against traffic for added visibility from drivers and bring a noise-making device, such as a whistle. A loud noise may be a lifesaver in the event of an attack.
Before you head out, is essential to notify a family member, friend, roommate, or partner exactly where you are going and the approximate amount of time you'll be gone. So your person can track your route and act quickly in case of an emergency.
HelpYouFind.Me work very well in scenarios like these. Thanks to its built-in Telegram bot you can securely post your current location via your smartphone. Not to worry, It will only be visible to those people you've specifically allowed to access your updates. You can also add the map of your route of the day, so your loved ones can identify where to start looking in case something bad happen.
Don’t forget, it’s best to avoid sharing your route on social media or a public running log. Refraining prevents bad actors from knowing where you are and when.
Another way to stay safe while running alone as a woman is evading the same run every week. It’s best to mix up your routine slightly, just on the off-chance that someone’s watching. And when choosing a new route, make sure you know it by heart before you leave your place to avoid getting lost on your long runs. It’s hard to stay alert to dangers when you’re tired and disoriented.
If you’re the kind of person who cringes at the idea of a sporadic schedule, try this: keep a list of your favorite routes for different distances. Then, whether you’re planning out your week of runs or deciding the day of, pick a place you didn’t go the week or the day before.
In addition to keeping your eyes on the road and looking around for any signs of danger, be sure that you can hear what's going on around you. For women is indispensable to listen to their surroundings to monitor the traffic, people, and animals along their path. So always be alert to have a quick response if something pops out unexpectedly.
Avoid wearing headphones when running alone. If you choose to listen to music on a familiar route where you feel safe, still set the volume to low or only listen in one ear.
Another essential way to save while running alone is carrying low-profile personal safety gear, such as an alarm or pepper spray. These tools can boost your sense of safety and give you an extra line of defense in case you do have a threatening human or wildlife encounter.
You can also read about: Your Personal Safety Kit, Get Informed on How To Stay Safe:
Another idea to consider is to have a self-defense class. You can even take a class online and learn kickboxing or another empowering skill. You will gain skills to protect yourself, learn general safety principles, and boost your confidence and comfort level for running alone.
Running alone should be a time to enjoy challenging yourself and being on your own, not stressing over safety. So take all the necessary precautions to lower your risk of something negative happening, from getting lost to harassment or assault, then focus on running and claim your place on the road.
But if running alone still doesn't feel safe to you, particularly if optimal routes aren't accessible, trust your gut and consider finding a running partner or group. Don't let safety concerns keep you from running on the open road.
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