It’s not uncommon for a runner to choose to run alone, whether they’re seeking solidarity or trying to hit training run paces, and many don’t think twice about choosing to lace up and hit the pavement by themselves. However running solo can open the door to many safety risks, and there are some running safety rules that runners should keep in mind as they head out alone:
1. Always let someone know where you’re going and how long you expect to be gone. If no one knows that you’re going out for a run then hours can pass before anyone may realize that you’re missing. You should always let someone know where you’re planning to run at and how long you plan to be out there, and then tell them when you’re back to your car safe and sound. That way if you don’t show up when you’re supposed to, whether it’s because you’ve hurt yourself or you’ve been abducted, someone will notice right away.
2. Run with your cell phone. It may be a little cumbersome to have to carry your phone with you while you’re running, but that small inconvenience can end up being a lifesaver if you’re hurt out on a trail and are unable to get yourself back to your car.
3. Wear bright colors and say hello to everyone you pass. You should acknowledge the people that you run past for three reasons: 1. They’re more likely to remember you if you say hello to them, 2. Making eye contact and showing that you know they’re around can be a deterrent for people with less than friendly motives, and 3. It’s just nice practice. Wearing bright clothes in addition to acknowledging other runners will also help make you more memorable to anyone you pass by should something happen and you go missing.
4. Only carry mace if you know how to use it. While having mace on you is a great way to fend off attackers, if you don’t know how to use it then it can easily end up being used against you. Practice using it before you run with it.
5. Run without music. It may be hard at first to switch from running with music to running without it, but running with headphones on makes it hard to hear any cars or people coming up behind you and makes you less aware of your surroundings. When you’re out by yourself you need to be very aware of anything and everything happening around you.
If you choose to run alone then you need to be aware of the risks that come with it and take any and all necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Failure to take the necessary safety measures has consequences that extend far past listening to your favorite song while you run or not wanting to bother anyone with your schedule.
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