1. Tell someone your route and what time you’re expected home.
John always knows my route and we have a call me if it gets to be this time plan and a come looking for me if it gets to be this time plan. If for some reason I change my route or had to take unexpected stop breaks, this warrants a phone call home to update our plan. This may sound overprotective but we are super pro-safety in the Heddleston household.
2. Nix the music.
Since living in Maryland, I have run with music one time. This was while I was doing lake loops at a local park and John was pushing X in the stroller nearby. I have become a runner who can run without music and I think I’m better for it. I can hear every sound around me and not tune out and get distracted the tunes. I hear every leaf rattle, every foot step, every car. I like it like this.
3. Carry a phone but don’t make it visible.
I never got onboard with the phone on the armband as your music player. Seriously, put the phone in a hidden spot – are you asking to be mugged? I’m not saying you’re asking for it… but if someone wants to be up to no good, don’t you think they’re going to go after the runner with a visible iPhone vs one without?
Make your phone invisible!
4. Vary your route and the time of day when you run.
I’m pretty sure if someone were watching me to figure out my running pattern, they wouldn’t be able to determine one. That’s the life of having a baby! Runs happen whenever they can and I quite frankly just get too bored if I do the same route repetitively. Keeping your timing and routes fresh, will help prevent others from noticing your pattern, helping to keep you safe from an unwanted stalker.
5. Carry a “weapon” — baton, mace, horn are all good options.
I’m not telling you what a carry, but yes I can defend myself if need be. Enough said.
6. Run with someone when possible.
Safety in numbers my friends!
Running with Kali when I lived in Cleveland.
7. Wear appropriate clothing.
Running at dusk or dawn? Throw on your reflective vest and make sure those cars can see you. Running in the dark? Put a head lamp or belting like on. Also, ladies, be smart about only wearing a sports bra when you run. If it simply is too hot out and you must only run in a sports bra, make sure you aren’t in a secluded area. Of course we should be able to wear whatever we want when we run, but we also don’t want to bring unwanted attention to ourselves either.
Neon colors for people to see you!
8. Be aware of your surroundings.
This sounds simple, but as a runner, I know how easy it is to get inside my own head and zone out. If you nix the music (tip #2), being aware of your surroundings is a little easier. Whenever I pass someone going the other direction, I always make sure to turn my head around a bit to ensure that they didn’t turn around and start following me. Call me paranoid, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I also keep my eyes peeled for animals… more so so I don’t startle myself. I’d rather see them before they see me first!
9. Run against traffic.
I get so confused when I see people (runners and walkers) going with the flow of traffic. In order to be seen, run or walk against traffic and pop up on the sidewalk if it gets too busy.
10. Run in well lit – well trafficked areas.
I don’t night run and I don’t run in seclusion. If I run around a lake alone, it’s one that is trafficked with fellow runners, dog walkers and more. When I run on the streets alone is through neighbors that have a decent but safe amount of car traffic. I never go into the wooded trails (although super awesome) without having another person with me. I only run alone where someone would always be able to witness something or hear me scream.
Someone not to run unless you’re with people!
11. Carry identification.
If you don’t wear an ID bracelet or sneaker tag, stick your license in shoes, hydration belt or CamelBak.
Which tips do you or don’t you follow? Why or why not? What other tips would you add?