Whether it’s dark or you’re running alone, don’t neglect your safety.
The experts at Run On! Texas share their tips for staying safe on the run:
- Wear identification. Try a Road ID. Include any medical information. Don’t wear jewelry. Write a note or leave a voice mail about where you’re running and how long you’ll be gone.
- Carry a cell phone. Carry a little cash in case you need to buy food or water along the way.
- Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles. Don’t challenge cars to a race. If you and a car are both approaching an intersection, stop and let the car go first. Beware of stopped cars waiting to make a right turn. Stop and wait until they make the turn, or run behind them.
- Wear light colored, reflective material if you must run in the dark. Make yourself visible. Consider a reflective vest or a blinking light.
- Alter or vary your running route. Run in familiar areas if possible. Avoid unlit, unpopulated areas. Run clear of parked cars or bushes. In unfamiliar areas, such as while traveling, contact a local running store or RRCA club for suggestions.
- Save the headsets for the treadmill. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Seriously!
- If you can, run with a partner. Run with a dog. Running in a group may be the easiest way to avoid problems, and it’s fun. If you must run alone, a treadmill at home or at a health club is a much safer option than sticking to lonely, dark streets. Stick to well-lit areas. A local track also offers some protection when lit, but not if you’re running alone and after dark.
- Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you and trust your intuition. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are. React on your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you’re unsure. If something tells you a situation is not “right,” it isn’t. Don’t stop to give directions to strangers in cars if you are running alone.
- Carry water. Hydration belts and other gear is available to help you carry everything you need.
- Carry a noisemaker and/or OC (pepper) spray. Get training in self-defense and the use of pepper spray.
- Call police immediately if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately.