Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a newbie just getting started, you should know that telling someone where you’re going is the most important safety step you can take. While you might not want to have to draw a map for someone and provide them with a strict timeline of your run, ensure they have a basic idea of where you’ll be and approximately what time you’ll be done. This way if you’re not back by a certain time, they know where to start looking. There are even wearable safety devices, such as tinySOS, that allow you to send a quick alert saying “hi” with your exact location. You can send an alert before you start your run, and another one at the end. It’s super easy.
Everyday new technology is being invented and some of the most recent, and useful, of these are wearable safety devices. Systems like tinySOS are usually composed of a smart-button and a smartphone app that pair to send your exact location to friends and family with just a click. You can clip the button to your arm-band or sports bra while you run, so you don’t have to worry about holding it. When you click the button 3 times, it will use your smartphone to notify your designated contacts that you need help and provide them with your GPS location.
This way they can know exactly where to send help.
Regardless of the time of day, making sure you are easily visible is vital. When running at night, or simply on an unlit road, make sure you are wearing some type of LED lights. Whether it be an arm-band, a wrist-band or a pair of those nifty sneakers that light up, it’s important that you ensure you can be easily seen. Running during the day doesn’t pose the same threats, but it can still be useful to wear the LED lights just to cover your bases and guarantee you can’t be missed.
Having a routine can make life easier, however, if it’s too predictable, it can make you a target. If someone has studied your habits and, let’s say you run everyday on the same trail at the same time, you are literally providing them with a roadmap for getting you alone. Alternate the days or times that you run, switch up the locations and even skip runs. Be sure to apply this safety tip to other areas of your life as well, because anyone with a schedule that is too predictable, can easily find themselves a target.
You like to run the same route, but have been hearing about some other great paths that are right up your alley. Don’t just head there one day and start running; make sure that you are familiar with the area and the path itself. You don’t want to end up getting lost and have no idea how to get back to where you started. Scope it out first, either by using a satellite map on your computer or phone, or just drive along the path itself. Ensure you know where your run will start, where the path goes and if it branches off, and where it will end. Don’t ruin your run and compromise your safety by getting yourself turned around or lost.
If you have friends who also like to run, then try running together. Not only is it safer, but it can also be motivating to have a running buddy that keeps you on track. Each of you can encourage the other to go running, suggest new places to run and push each other while running. And, of course, having two sets of eyes also makes your run that much safer.
You can both pay attention to your surroundings and always have each other’s backs.
Hopefully these tips can allow you to now focus on the enjoyment of your run, since your safety is now taken care of.