Did you know that a reported 24 percent of women don’t run outdoors for fear of being harassed or attacked? This is an upsetting number, as every woman has the right to feel safe while pursuing her hobby. While it’s important to be aware of potential threats, women should know that they do not have to give up your love of running outdoors altogether. Follow these five running safety tips to help feel secure on your outdoor runs.
1. Always tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
Even if you live alone, technology makes it easier for you to make your whereabouts known. Let your best friend, your mother or trusted neighbor know that you are going for a run. Tell them where you are running and when you will be home. Text them when you arrive home safely. If you don’t text them by a certain time, they will know to alert the authorities. Better yet, join a running club or run with a friend, there is strength in numbers to increase your safety.
2. Run with pepper spray.
Now you can purchase pepper spray with hand and bicep straps to keep the compact canisters accessible. Plus, a jet stream delivery prevents wind blow back and with a 10 foot plus range and multiple sprays, you can protect yourself at a distance against multiple threats if need be. It’s the perfect solution for runners who want that added security when they run at night or in deserted areas. Otherwise, carry a personal alarm, and make sure it is loud so it can be heard from a distance!
3. Wear neon clothing to stand out on the roads.
Go for bright colors, even when it comes to your shoes. Wearing reflective material is another must. You can even add bright reflective laces to your favorite pair of running shoes.
4. Keep present, alert & alter your route.
Use only one earbud to listen to your music and keep the volume low, so that you can be aware of your surroundings. Be sure to look around, including over your shoulder. If you see something strange, trust your intuition and change your course or even go into a local business where you will be in safety of others. Changing your route will help prevent planned attacks.
5. Carry identification.
Always run with your ID. Tape a list of emergency contacts to the back, as well as your blood type and list any medical conditions you might have (such as diabetes) or any allergies you have. Running is a great way to stay happy, healthy, and engaged with the world around you – so just make sure you do it with safety in mind.