Unfortunately, we live in a world where a solitary pastime can be controlled by fear. With the many dangers that loom around every curve, I’ve decided to compile a list of proactive steps we can take to become defensive runners and continue to stay healthy on the road/trail.

 

1. Keep a family member/friend in the loop: Let them know exactly where you’re going, and what time you plan on starting/finishing.

2. Take your phone: Just in case of an emergency, or unexpected injury. Once, my hip gave out on a long run, and I was 6 mi. away from my car! Fortunately, I was able to call for someone to pick me up at the nearest trailhead.
3. Personal ID: ID bracelet, emergency contact numbers, blood type, allergies, etc.

4. Keep valuables on the down-low: No jewelry. Still want to wear your engagement/wedding ring? Wear it discretely. Flip it around to hide the bling, or maybe on a sturdy necklace under your shirt. Try to keep your phone hidden in pockets, running belts, etc.


5. Avoid secluded trails during off-peak hours: Try to find areas with frequent passersby.


6. Don’t leave your car keys at your vehicle or any visible valuables: I actually witnessed someone leave their car keys on their vehicle tire! Hide or leave valuables at home.


7. Stick to daylight hours: But if you decide to run during dawn/dusk hours, make sure to wear reflective gear, especially when running on the roads.


8. Ditch the headphones: If they’re a must, keep the volume low & only in one ear. I always believed I could NEVER run without my headphones. Now, I appreciate the silence, listen to my breathing to help pace my rhythm, or appreciate the lovely sounds of nature.


9. Run with protection: Pepper-spray, taser, horn, pocket knife, and/or some self-defense classes under your belt, etc.


10. Be careful when talking to strangers: You might run into who you believe is a friendly stranger, but be careful not to share too much personal information. For example, “I run here by myself all the time”,”I’m about to go on a long run”, “I always come here after work/school”, etc. You might as well just tell them to steal your car or worse.


11. Trust your instincts & be aware of your surroundings: Don’t dismiss your inner voice. If an area seems precarious, turn around, or if you pass someone sketchy, keep an eye out and make sure they don’t turn around to follow you. Look out for wildlife…I’ve had multiple incidents of almost stepping on a snake!


12. Stay hydrated: Map out your water stops, or bring along some H20.


13. Wear sunscreen: Protect yourself from UV rays by putting on a hat, throwing on some shades, and applying some sunscreen!


14. Be cautious with online posting: Don’t share your exact location right before a run. Keep your running apps private. Avoid routine, and switch up your running spots & times, etc.


15. Buddy up! Strength in numbers. Take a friend, a family member, or a loyal four-legged companion (Probably not your turtle).

What tips am I leaving out?
Which one of these tips bailed you out of a close call?

Leave a comment below!