Stay Safe When Running Alone
by: Linzay Logan
Running solo can lead to some of the best runs. Torching calories and stress, while zoning out on pounding the pavement is amazing, but that doesn’t mean we can or should let our guard down. Remaining alert and aware of our surroundings is the best way to stay safe when running any time, but is most important when running alone. Stay aware and use these tips to stay safe while running alone.
- Know your route and let someone know what it is
Wandering wherever the wind may take you is nice, but it isn’t ideal if you are alone. There is nothing worse than running eight miles and feeling completely lost when it is beginning to get dark. If you have a planned route and have let someone know what it is, they’ll have an idea of where to come pick you up and bring you home when you’re lost and not back when you said you would be.
- Don’t go with the flow
Cyclists need to ride in the same direction of traffic, but runners should always be headed in the opposite direction of traffic. This way a car can’t come up behind you without you knowing and you can always see any traffic hazards coming toward you.
- Carry cash
Stash a few dollars or a credit card into your pocket, shoe or fuel belt just in case anything unexpectedly comes up. Feeling like you hit the wall? With a couple bucks you can pick up a sports drink or cab fare.
- Run like a defensive driver
It is always best to stay safe than sorry especially when running in traffic. Assume every driver is talking on the phone while drinking steaming hot coffee and tuning the radio. Before running into an intersection make eye contact with the drivers and avoid high-traffic areas if possible.
- Carry identification
Whenever running alone, it’s important to carry identification. Whether it’s a driver license or a runner’s ID tag such as a Road ID, an ID can end up being the most important piece of gear you carry in an emergency.
- Run in populated areas
If there are other runners around there is good chance the area is safe and appropriate for runners. Plus, if you end up falling and spraining your ankle there will be other runners around to help you up and let you borrow a phone to get a ride home.
- Carry a cell phone
It might feel a bit cumbersome to carry your phone on a run, but in the event you need it and there aren’t other people around it could be a lifesaver.
- Switch up your route
It is important to change your running route and the time you run every so often. Getting acquainted with the same route over and over again can make you susceptible to letting your guard down and allows assailants to know when and were you are.
- Listen up
Turn down the music, wear headphones in just one ear or, best yet, don’t listen to music at all. It’s important to hear what is going on around you, especially when you’re out on the road by yourself.