Many runners enjoy exercising in the early morning or evening, when the air is cooler and the streets are free of traffic. These solitary runs are very enjoyable, but they also carry a certain amount of risk. You could get attacked or mugged, especially if you choose secluded routes. Here are some important safety tips that may one day save your life.
Let people know where you are
Ideally, you should be running with someone. But if you can’t get a running partner, or you prefer to run alone, at least leave a note telling people where you’re going, what route you plan to take, and what time they can expect you.
What to bring
Always carry some form of identification, your cell phone, and a whistle that you can use to call for help. Carry pepper spray in your hand.
Be on alert
If you wear earphones while you run, turn down the volume so that you can still be aware of your surroundings.
Choose a safe route
Avoid dark and deserted streets or trails. If you jog at night, pick streets that are well-lit. It’s also good to run in neighborhoods that you’re familiar with, and take a mental note of where your neighbors are (or any place you can go to if you’re in trouble, like the police station, or stores or offices that are open early in the morning or late at night). It also helps to vary your running routine (like what time you go, and the paths you take).
What to avoid
Stay away from bushes, dimly lit areas or parked areas where attackers may be hiding. Never approach a car, even if the driver calls you to ask for directions. Just point to a place where they can ask someone else, or feign ignorance and shrug your shoulders. Also be wary of cars that pass you several times. Stay far away but do let them know that you can see them and are conscious of them.
How to deal with attackers
Instead of begging or pleading (which has a tendency to increase his aggressive tendencies) maintain a firm and confident voice and just keep talking, while keeping an eye out for any moment that he is distracted and you can make a run for safety.
Program your cell phone
Set certain numbers on speed dial, so you can reach someone at the touch of a button.
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