Run For It
Safety Tips for Jogging Alone
By Jessica Herrington
Spring is (hopefully) coming soon and with summer not too far behind comes the time when many people start taking to the outdoors for their training. While outdoor exercise certainly has its perks—fresh air, warm sun, the peacefulness of nature, to name a few—danger can lurk around the corner if you don’t take some precautions. This is especially true if you’re inclined to run alone. It’s refreshing to clear your head and tune out the world, but unfortunately this can put you at risk. Accidents happen and there’s dangerous people out there. Below is a list of tips to follow that will help ensure a safer run. And a safer run means more peace of mind, which is partly the reason for running in the first place!
1. Always Tell Someone Where You Are
Before you head out, let someone know where you’ll be running, and how long you expect to be. If something goes wrong, they’ll know where to find you.
2. Run With A Dog
One alternative to running alone is to run with a dog. If you don’t have one, borrow one. Not only does having a dog with you make you a less attractive target, but they can also sense danger before we can. However, this only applies if the dog is bigger than a football. Otherwise, you might as well have a small child with you.
3. Be Visible
This is especially important if you run alongside the road or in the early mornings or at dusk. Glare from the sun off a windshield can be temporarily blinding to a driver, putting you at risk as a roadside runner. Run against traffic so that oncoming cars do not startle you, and try to stay as far on the inside of the road as you can. This will put drivers at ease when passing you. Also, wear bright and/or reflective clothing.
4. Carry Identification
Keep your I.D. and keys on you. Thankfully, workout wear companies have made this easier by designing sleek, zippered pockets on the backs of shorts, capris, and pants so that you won’t feel weighed down. Slip your car and/or house key off the ring and tuck it, along with your I.D., in the pocket. You can also buy armbands for this. Or, you can wear an I.D. tag to help medical personnel obtain important medical and contact information in the event of an emergency. Visit http://www.roadid.com to choose from a variety of tags.
5. Be Alert
Always be aware of your surroundings. If you wear headphones, you need to be extra vigilant. You’re not just on the lookout for traffic, but for potentially dangerous people as well, especially if you run alone in the woods. Keep the volume low on your Ipod, or just use one earbud. Every now and then glance all around you. When you stop to rest, take your headphones out and listen carefully. If need be, remember that your keys can be used as a possible weapon.
6. Trust Your Instincts
If at any time you suddenly feel that something isn’t right, listen to your gut. Don’t ignore it; don’t try to tell yourself you’re being ridiculous; don’t be ashamed of being scared. Chances are you saved your life by turning around and going back, by taking another route, or by going somewhere else to run altogether.