There’s nothing like a good run to start or end your day. But unfortunately, many runners face scary situations when they hit the roads or trails solo. An alarming 54% of women said they worried about their physical safety while running or preparing to run, according to a Runner’s World survey.
Our advice: Don’t let fear ruin your running routine. Here are some smart strategies to fuel your run with greater safety and confidence.
1. Follow the crowd.
Avoid dark, secluded areas where you’re the only person around, especially when you’re alone. Stay on paths or roads with other people around you.
2. Tell someone where you’re going.
Don’t head out the door without telling a friend or family member where you’re going and when they can expect you back. There are also apps that allow you to map and share your run route as long as your phone is with you.
3. Don’t run with headphones.
It’s safe to carry your phone in a pocket or armband, but leave your headphones/earbuds at home. Music distracts you from hearing cars, dogs and other people around you.
4. Be aware of your surroundings.
Look ahead, behind you and from side to side throughout your run. If you notice anyone following you or other strange activity, keep your distance and get to a safe location as soon as possible.
5. Bring backup.
It’s always a good idea to bring a personal defense tool like pepper spray or a personal alarm. Not only does it help you feel more prepared and confident, but if faced with a potential threat, you can use it to protect yourself and get to safety.
6. Alternate your routes.
Try not to run the same course every time. Switch up your routes to avoid being predictable to a potential assailant.
7. Stride with confidence.
Even if you’re a little scared, looking secure makes you appear less vulnerable. Keep your posture strong and head up. Make eye contact with other people. And always run with a strong, powerful stride no matter your pace.
Mace® Brand is here to help you feel more prepared, secure and ready on every run. Check out our Runner Safety Combo Kit for everything you need while you’re on the go.