7 Ways to Stay Safe While Running

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Knowing how to stay safe while running is about being aware and having a community behind you. Running is a way of life, but with all things in life there is a need to know what to look out for.

As a running community, we need to look out for one another, and that starts with being aware how to stay safe during your daily workout.

Know the 7 ways to stay safe, so you can run with ease.

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Summary of 7 Ways to Stay Safe

1. Unplug

Since the accessibility of headphones there has been a 300% increase of pedestrian accidents, where 70% of those accidents resulted in death. It is an unfortunate reality that we need to consider running without music, but it can increase your awareness. It can even increase your chances for surviving an attack or being hit by a vehicle.

If running with music is what keeps you going, consider using headphones that do not fully plug your ear, and keep the volume low. 

2. Message Groups

Consider starting a small group chat with fellow runners and alert them as you are about to embark on a run. Explain in detail where you are going and when you expect to be back.

By letting someone know where you are, they know where to look for you if you do not return when you are supposed to.

As you return from a run, let your group message know that you have returned safe and sound.

3. Run With People

There is safety in numbers, as well as motivation incentive. Check out local running groups in your area to find people who run at a similar pace.

By running with people, it gives you more protection and a stronger sense of community. 

4. Wear Bright Colors

If you often run at night, or on busy streets, bright colors can significantly decrease your chance of being hit by a vehicle or colliding with a cyclist.

In 2014, 65,000 pedestrian injuries occurred. 4,884 of those people did not survive.

Most running gear these days comes in bright colors, and that includes bright shoes. With reflective clothing you will be able to run more confidently, but always be weary that drivers and cyclists may not be able to see you.

5. Keep a Phone With You

Keep a phone on you to be able to call in case of emergency or if you get lost. Phones can also help with navigation and keep you on track for your route.

Consider using a pack, belt, or arm band to keep your phone near and easily accessible in case of danger. 

6. Know Your Route

If you are traveling in new areas, be sure to ask about safe places to go for a run. You do not want to be in a local place that is known for having issues.

Knowing your route also gives you the opportunity to let others know where you are going. That way if you do not return, people will know where to look for you.

Apps like Glympse and RunSafe allow for family or friends to track where you are, and includes buttons to easily alert someone if you are in danger.

7. Use Your Intuition

A simple whistle, honk, or sexual phrase is all too common. Running comes free, but sexism still comes at a price.

It is not the fact of running alone, it is a matter of the need for a cultural change. The need for communities and individuals to stand against sexism that perpetuates harassment on emotional and physical levels.

Use your intuition while running and listen to your gut. If you enter an area that makes you feel uneasy, immediately change your course to a place that feels more safe.

Run safe, and always be aware of your surroundings. 

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe is a runner at heart, a researcher by nature, and a writer by passion. Having traveled across the world, she continues to be an advocate for awareness and knowledge that empowers people to a better life. You can now find her running out on the trail, or nestled away writing her next article.

Portland, OR