Scared to run on your own? Here’s how you can protect yourself
The benefits of solo running go way beyond burning calories, it can provide a healthy source to blow off steam, a solitary way to reflect, and a peaceful space to enjoy your own company. Are you Scared to run on your own? Here’s how you can protect yourself.
Whilst running alone is generally safe, it doesn’t mean to say that runners aren’t at risk, and those risks might be higher if you are a woman or a person of colour. It’s important to follow certain safety precautions to keep you protected from any potential dangers.
Secure your well-being so that your running progress can stay on track with these safety tips.
It’s important to take routes and clothing into consideration. When running solo it’s not the best time to try a new route, especially one that you’re not familiar with, as there’s more of a chance that you’ll get lost or find yourself in an unfamiliar situation. Although, if you run the same route every day it’s best to vary the timings, as running the same route at the same time each day can make you a target.
Wear bright/fluorescent clothing whether you’re running during the day or night. Some pieces of running clothing may already have this, but it’s worth purchasing luminous accessories such as headbands, harnesses and belts to keep you covered.
Ditch the Headphones
Listening to loud music will muffle the sound of your surroundings, making you less likely to react or even acknowledge any potential dangers. It can also make you miss important cues from your body, for example with that motivational running playlist blasting you won’t notice the rate of your breath, telling you that you’re pushing an interval too hard or not hard enough.
Additionally, being able to tune into your body properly with no distractions will allow you to focus on maintaining a relaxed progressive run, it will help you centre and deepen your breath, allowing you to carry more oxygen to the heart.
Before you start your run, ensure that you tell someone your planned route and estimated time you’ll be back, especially if you live on your own. It might be worth even sharing your location with someone you trust so that they’ll be the first to be informed if you happen to end up in a dangerous situation. If you have an iPhone you can enable the “find your friends” option, or even just send them your location via imessage, there are also apps such as Kitestring and Life 360 for android users. For those people with Smartwatches, you can easily set up a live track feature with the Garmin Connect app that will also allow you to share your whereabouts with loved ones.
Trust Your Instincts
Always trust your gut instinct, even when in doubt there’s no harm in taking a certain precaution if it means prioritising your safety. Remember that there’s nothing wrong with crossing the road, going off your route, stopping at the next point of safety such as neighbours or a local business, or even calling for help. Trusting yourself is the most important guideline for keeping safe while running alone, if you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, act to protect yourself.
If You Have A Dog, Take Them With You!
We know this defeats the purpose of running by yourself, but taking a furry friend will provide that extra protection that you need. A dog could be that deterrent to people who may want to bother you, thus giving you that additional security and companionship. If you don’t have a pet of your own then you should ask friends, family and neighbours who own one, every dog owner will be happy for their pet to gain a few more minutes of exercise a day; you might even be doing them a favour.
Written By – Kate Goodman