For female runners, safety is a huge priority. Ever since I started running, I have been committed to keeping myself safe. I have always heard the stories of women disappearing while running, and it has never left my mind.
Therefore, I wanted to share today some things to consider when you go out for a run (or walk…or any sort of outdoor activity, actually).
1.Be aware of your surroundings
Sounds obvious, right? But seriously, you need to always be paying attention to what’s going on around you. I look behind me, I look to my sides, and I look ahead. When I run by ditches or near the greenway entrances, I pay attention there too. It’s easy to get lost in thought when you run, but you have to stay vigilant at all times.
2. Don’t blare your headphones
Speaking of being aware, I keep my headphone volume low enough that I can hear what’s going on around me. I like to listen to podcasts instead of music while I run, which is also probably wise from a safety standpoint. Voices, with pauses and lower volume, is much easier to hear outside noise with than super loud, constant music.
3. Tell someone your running plan
This one…is SO IMPORTANT. Seriously. Before every run, I tell Brandon my mileage and reiterate how long I’ll be gone. He knows my pace, so it’s not like he can’t figure it out, but I say…”I’m going three. I’ll see you in 30 or so.” He also knows my routes. Even if I wasn’t married, I’d still find someone to tell. Someone, somewhere (a friend, your mom, whoever) should know where and when you run.
4. Bring your phone
I know things can happen to your phone even if you take it, but bringing your phone at least gives you the chance to possibly contact someone in the event of an emergency. No phone gives you NO way to attempt to contact someone. Also, with Find My iPhone and similar, I just feel better knowing that there’s a chance someone could locate me.
5. Consider a safety gadget
I don’t own one, but I have looked MANY times at those rings that, when you bend your knuckle and go to stab someone, the silicone moves out of the way to reveal a small knife/shank type deal. I don’t know about you, but that seems way easier to me, since you’re already wearing it on your best weapon (your hands), than fiddling with pepper spray or something that you’d have to get out and open somehow during an attack. I feel like with those ring or similar gadgets, I could hopefully injure an eye good enough to escape.
6. Run only in well-populated areas
When I first started running, I went a few times on the beautiful greenways we have around our area. It’s a great run, and super shaded…but also…not very populated. So after a few times of running on the greenway, I decided it wasn’t for me. Our town is very safe, but still, I don’t like the idea of that much seclusion, so I run where there are lots of cars and people.
7. Run in daylight hours
This one is so tricky, because for my schedule and this super hot weather, it’d work so much better for me to run at like, 5 AM. But it’s far too dark and by the time it gets light around 6 or so, it’s too late in the day for me to run (I’ve got kids to get to daycare/camp and then work by 8!). So instead, I run in the early evening with scorching heat and sun. It’s not ideal, but it’s well-lit and, again, there are lots of cars and people at that time of day.
Running is one of my very favorite things to do. It relaxes me, recharges me, and helps me stay motivated in other areas of my life. It gives me much needed alone time (hey, I’m an introvert…and introverted moms NEED their alone time!). But as a woman in this messed up world, it’s necessary to think about safety each and every run.
To see some of my favorite running gear, you can check out my Amazon idea list HERE. (This is an affiliate link–I will make a small commission on any Amazon purchase you make directly after clicking this link, at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!)
How do you stay safe while enjoying the outdoors?