Running is generally considered one of the easiest sports to start and one of the safest sports. Part of the beauty of running is that it can be done anywhere and any time you choose. Additionally, you don't need to rely on anyone else to run with you, so it can be a 100% solitary sport.
Running alone has many advantages. You can go at your own pace, rest whenever you want, and change up your route at the last second. It can provide valuable head-space to think, blow off steam, or even create a meditative state.
Although, for the most part, running solo is safe, certain precautions are wise before you head out alone. Follow our tips for running alone. They will help ensure a safe and productive running experience every time you step out to exercise:
Let Someone Know Where You Are
It's always a wise idea to let someone know you're heading out alone. Going for a run is no exception. Let your partner, family, or a friend know where you're going. And make sure to tell them roughly what time you'll be back. That way, if a problem occurs, someone will know and can take the appropriate action.
Carry ID With You
It's unlikely you want to drag your wallet or purse out on a run with you. Carrying some form of ID with you is useful, though, and it’s an excellent safety tip. Road Runner ID bracelets are lightweight and won't get in the way of your run, yet they contain necessary ID information, including medical info and next of kin. With an ID bracelet, first responders won't have to search to find vital information that could save your life.
Stick to Familiar Routes
Going "off-piste" on a running route is always a great way to shake up a routine but ensure that your path is well-known and safe. A good way to make sure of this is by researching online, talking to other runners, or taking a drive around the area to check it out before you go.
Vary Your Routes and Times
Running the exact same route at the exact same time each day makes it easier for anyone with bad intentions to take advantage of you. You can avoid such a situation by changing up your routes and the time of day that you run. The less predictable you are, the safer you will be.
Use Common Sense
It’s important to trust your instinct and use common sense when running. Only run in areas that are well-lit, well kept, and where you can see other people. Try to run in wide, open spaces rather than narrow, enclosed paths. Choose well-used running routes, and if something doesn't feel right, don’t feel too embarrassed to leave the area as soon as possible.
Wear Hi-Vis Gear
This tip is not so essential if you're running around your local park. If your route takes you along roads, however, being visible is paramount for your safety. Wearing bright hi-vis clothing with plenty of reflective strips allows vehicles to see you clearly and vastly reduces your chances of a collision.
Ditch the Headphones
We know that music is the perfect accompaniment to running, but running alone requires you to have a handle on all of your senses. Wearing headphones blocks sound so that you would not be able to hear oncoming vehicles or someone approaching from behind. If you insist on music for your run, consider a small speaker or using a single earbud so that you can still hear what's going on around you.
Take a Dog
Dogs love running. Running with a dog is a great way to put off anyone wanting to cause you trouble. If you don’t own a dog, perhaps a friend or someone in the neighborhood would appreciate a free dog walking (or running) service!
Before you go for your run, check what the weather is doing and dress appropriately. Make sure you've adequately fueled up, are hydrated, and have warmed your muscles. Ensure your shoes are in good condition and you feel comfortable. If you're feeling tired or less than 100%, consider staying put or only running for a short period.
Most of these running tips are common sense. Those you don’t already practice will soon become second nature. We hope that they help you achieve your running objectives while enjoying safe and productive running sessions.
We know that running solo can be very freeing and rewarding. By taking steps to keep safe, you can spend less time worrying. And you can focus on improving your health and your personal best.