While the coronavirus pandemic continues, causing running races—and many other large events—to be postponed and canceled, many runners embrace solo running. Running by yourself can be many things—freeing, a time to think, a healthy way to blow off steam, lonely, fun – but sometimes also unsettling or even scary. While running alone is generally safe, it is not without risk—nor are you alone in your concerns. Women, especially, express legitimate concerns about running alone. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the magazine Runner’s World, 43% of women report being harassed, 30% have been followed, 18% have been sexually propositioned, and 3% report being physically assaulted while running alone.
Of course, when running by yourself, safety and feeling comfortable come first. Below, we give you some tips of how to rock running by yourself.
Trust your instincts
Protect yourself by prioritizing your safety—balance brave and polite with safe and following your feeling. If you sense danger, trust your instincts and err on the side of caution. Trusting your instincts is perhaps the most important guideline for keeping safe while running alone. Don’t worry about being wrong. If you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, act to protect yourself. This may include turning around, going another way, crossing a street, calling for help, screaming, or running away. Or you can pull the new NATHAN SaferRun Ripcord Siren Personal Alarm. This tiny siren can alert others in case of an incident. In case of emergency, a quick pull of the rip cord triggers a 120 dB alarm alerting passers-by and discouraging potential assailants. Audible from over 180 meters and as loud as an ambulance siren.
Let someone know your route
Before you head out for your run, make sure you let someone else know where you’re running and your intended route. Also, tell them approximately how long you’ll be running. Check in with them once you return safely. If you bring along your phone or another trackable device, you can let them follow along as you run as well. Store your phone in the new NATHAN SaferRun waistpak. This new waistpak comes with a built-in flip pocket with touchscreen cover and the new SaferRun Ripcord Siren Personal Alarm.
Stick to well-traveled routes
Running by yourself is not the time to try out a new, unfamiliar running route. Stick to your running spots so you don’t have to worry about getting lost or running into an unsafe and/or unfamiliar situation. Choose a safe, well-lit route, where you know they’ll be lots of people around. Also, when possible, vary the time of day and route that you run.
Carry ID and/or your phone
Put your driver’s license and your medical insurance card in your waistpak or smartphone carrier. The new NATHAN SaferRun Arm Phone Sleeve use very soft, lightweight and easy to use phone for running, inline skating, hiking and more. You can store your phone, ID and emergency card in the arm sleeve, which stays in place while running. Whenever possible, try to run with your cell phone, and save your ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers. In lieu of carrying your phone, bring a noise-making device, such as a the SaferRun Alarm.
It’s easy to miss a single runner on the road, so make sure you’re visible. Run in daylight, when possible. If you’re running in the early morning or at night or even at dusk, dress in light, bright, and/or reflective clothing or use a reflective vest. Choose colors like white, yellow, orange, or neon green or blue. Also, some items such as race vests or waistpak already have reflective pieces on them. Some runners also run with a small flashlight to make sure they’re seen by oncoming traffic. Additionally, choose well-lit routes, where you can be seen by others. Run against traffic for added visibility from drivers.
In addition to keeping your eyes on the road (and looking around for any signs of danger), be sure that you can hear what’s going on around you. You’ll want to listen to your surroundings to monitor the traffic, people, and animals along your path. To this end, avoid wearing headphones. If you choose to listen to music, set the volume to low and/or only listen in one ear.