When it comes to running, we all have our preferences: run with a group or go solo. Even for those who prefer running with friends, it is inevitable that during training the time will come when you are forced to go out alone.
I prefer to run with others, but even if most of your runs are solo, going out alone doesn't have to turn into a bad experience. As we enter National Safety Month, it's a good time to think about what precautions we can take to make our solo runs safer. So today I'm teaming up with Wearsafe to share my go-to safety tips.
5 Safety Tips for Running Solo that I use:
1. Plan a route
Whether I'm in my own neighborhood or visiting somewhere new, I plan where I'm going. If it's a new area, I use MapMyRun and if possible, I also do a drive-by of the route to make sure it's not secluded. It's good to have a general idea of the area so you don't get lost and end up in a sketchy situation.
2. Tell someone
Always tell someone where you are going. Even on days when mrC is out of town, I send him a text to let him know I'm heading out, give him my route details and let him know when I get back. If he's at home sleeping, I leave a note and add the time.
3. Take a phone
It can be inconvenient, but a phone is good to have on a solo run in case you get hurt, get lost, or need to call for help. Having my phone accessible is important to me and carrying it in my Flipbelt makes it easier to get to than if it's in armband. If I'm uncomfortable, I will even run with it in my hand until I get to a spot where I feel safer.
4. Be aware
I love my music, especially since I now have wireless earbuds, but when I run alone I avoid using them. If I do wear them, I keep the volume down low so that I can still hear most of the world around me. With that in mind, there are times when wearing earbuds is probably not a good idea at all: running in the dark, running near sports fields, or running in an area prone to wildlife.
5. Carry safety devices
Pepper spray or claw-like tools for runners are definitely good defensive options to have. I carry my Wearsafe tag. Much more accessible than my phone, if I'm ever in a situation all I have to do is press the button and my family and friends are alerted to my location and sent a 60 second audio clip of what was happening when I pressed the button.
Too many times, we read about runners becoming the victim of a crime. If you find yourself heading out for a solo run, take the time to use precautions.
PS - I'm happy to share my discount code RUNNINGESCAPADES for 15% off the Wearsafe Annual Service Plan.
Disclosure: I'm a Wearsafe Running Ambassador which means I receive my yearly subscription for free in exchange for talking about my training and how I use my Wearsafe. As always, these are my opinions based on my own experiences.