As the summer heats up, people are more likely to run when they can find some shade and temperatures are cooler. The problem with these hours, early in the morning or late in the evening, is they tend to be dark and shadowy. Darkness and odd hours make running at these times especially dangerous, and even if the sun’s out, there are plenty of other risk factors out there. One big factor in being prepared for any type of attack or harassment during your run is knowing that even though it’s sunny, you aren’t invincible. Attackers strike at any time of the day, from early morning to late at night and every hour in between. Here are seven tips to make sure you have a great run and get home safely.
Have a buddy. The hands down best way to be safe on a run is to run with a friend. Two people are harder to attack than one, just like four eyes are better than two. If you don’t have a friend available for your run, bring your dog. More alert to danger, your canine can sense it before you do. Of course, your running buddy needs to be bigger than a microwave and capable of helping defend you.
Carry an ID. While this may seem simple, most people forget to grab a form of identification because they aren’t bringing along their entire wallet. You can even write your name and phone number inside your shoe, or use a small luggage tag strung through your laces.
Don’t wear headphones. This, too, may seem simple. If music is what you’re paying attention to while sweating out a tough day, you’re less likely to hear an approaching attacker, bicyclist or car. The tunes distract and slow your reaction time, both of which can spell trouble.
Carry a phone. Most phones have straps or cases that wrap around your arm, and some are slim enough to slide into a shorts pocket. Many people use their phones to track their distance and time, but should stick to using it for these purposes only.
Vary your route. Pretend you have a crazy ex. They know exactly where to find you, especially if you announce on Facebook or Twitter that you’re heading out, and aren’t afraid to show up. Stalkers and attackers work the same way. They stake out routes, and on familiar ones, we tend to space out. Dealing with new terrain helps keep us alert and more aware of our surroundings, which makes us less of a target.
Run against traffic. Seeing oncoming traffic makes you much less likely to be hit by a vehicle.
Gear up. Purchase and use reflector tape, vests or shirts. Even the blinking lights usually associated with cyclists work, and stay off the roads altogether when it’s dark out.
Now you’re all ready to head for a great run and get home just the way you left it. Need help finding a running buddy or a new route? Ask us! Info@FitNicePT.com