Let's talk about self defense - HOW TO RUN SAFELY

We talk so much about the details of running...
Speed work, progression runs, farleks, tempo runs, long, slow distance runs.
How to prevent injuries, core exercises, weight training, nutrition, rest days, hydration...

But, it's time to talk about SAFETY.

How much time are we spending thinking about being safe when we are out on the roads?

I think about my last marathon training cycle and how much time I spent outside running. Hours and hours of running outside every week for months on end. I gave a little bit of thought to safety, but not enough. There were definitely summer evenings that I set out on my run when dusk was on the horizon. There were many, many early mornings that I was out on the road  when the sun hadn't begun its rise into the sky.
I think we all know, it's better to be proactive, then reactive.

So, here we go!

5 ways to develop and execute a running safety plan:

1. Always, always tell someone your running route.

By this, I mean in detail. Whether you text it or leave a written plan to your spouse, friend, neighbor or your Mom - just do it!
When I would go out on long or short runs, here is what Jerold and I would briefly discuss:

A. How many total miles I would be running. This includes any warm up or cool down time. 
We also talked about pace - was it a long, slow distance run, recovery run, tempo run, ect.
This way, he would know if I was running a 4 mile recovery run - I wouldn't be gone for 1 hour.

B. Am I taking my phone? Yes. I always have my phone with me. I would take my smart phone out of the protective case and it easily fits in the back zipper pocket of THESE shorts (my favorite!).

C. Jerold installed THIS (works on Android and iOS) app on both of our phones. It is really cool! He can check in and see where I am on the run. I would have already told him the route (with a couple of scenerios - just in case I changed my mind, I wouldn't be bound to the exact route.), and he would see me - it actually has my name and the box just moves along the route! In an emergency, Jerold could see that I abruptly changed locations or was moving faster than I ever could on foot.

D. That I would try and call him halfway on a super long run. For instance, if I was going 18 miles and he wasn't meeting up with me with nutrition or hydration, then I would give him a quick call or text 9 or 10 miles into the run.

E. That I would never go on a trail run alone. Okay, There is one trail that I have run on alone, but it's a extremely well populated wide trail with runners, bikers and walkers. One time I was running a 7 mile out and back run, and I got to a spot halfway through the run, where it was completely isolated.
I felt a tiny bit uneasy, but it just made me run faster on the way back. That was a time where it would have been great to run with a friend or running group.

F. NOTE: I never run the same route every day. Change things around. Don't be predictable. No one should be able to figure out that you run the same 5 mile loop every morning at 5:30 am.

2. Carry an ID on you. 

Ugh. I wasn't good about this. Brought my phone but not an ID most times. You can get a runner's ID that fits on your shoe. Find it HERE.

3. Don't run with earbuds.

Okay. I don't run with music, but so many runners love their music! The question is: how safe is it out on the road?
From the danger of traffic, to someone coming up behind you - running with earbuds limits what you can hear around you. I am not trying to be a party pooper, but it may be best to leave the ear buds for the treadmill. Running with them on an outdoor track may be okay IF the track is well populated.

4. Carry something to defend yourself. 

Oops. I haven't done this at all, but I think it's time to change that. Mace and pepper spray are two options. This would also come in handy to protect yourself from an angry, chasing dog.

5. Use reflective clothing and lights. 

People and cars need to see you. Whether it is dusk or dawn - both of those times of day are dark and it may be hard to see a runner.

Check out THIS informative article on self defense tips for runners!

Great!! We are all on our way to being safer runners!!

Now get out there and have a great run and please run some extra miles for me!! :)

How do YOU fit safety into your running?

Happiness Is Running Life!


No comments:

Post a Comment