Summer means warmer weather, more daylight, people out and about enjoying the sunshine, and you feel safer to run outdoors, right? Wrong. However, It does tend to be safer to run when it’s light out, as opposed to when it’s dark, but there’s something that happens to most of us during daylight—we feel invincible.
Do Not Run Alone
- Two people are harder to control than one, so attackers are less likely to strike and if they do, you’ve just doubled your chance of survival.
Alter Your Route
- This tip is not only for those with crazy ex-boyfriends and girlfriends. When we run the same route, or the same two routes, day after day, it not only makes us easy targets for stalkers, we also have a tendency to zone out.
Do Not Run with Earphones
- When you have loud music blaring in your ears, you can’t hear a potential attacker come up behind you and it also slows your reaction time. Most of us runners have the bad habit of tuning out while we run.
Wear Reflective Gear
- Make sure your visible! If you’re running in the early morning or at night, even at dusk, wear white, yellow, or orange clothes. Also, make sure you have reflective gear on. Although some items (running shoes, jackets) already have reflective pieces on them, it doesn’t hurt to add more. A headlamp is also a great item for runners who do a lot of early morning or evening runs.
Bring Identification and a Cellphone
- Both will help if you find yourself lost, injured or in danger. And if you can, let someone know where you’re going and about what time you plan to return.
Watch Out for Bikes and Runners
- Even if you’re running on a path or in a park with no cars, always be aware of other runners and cyclists. Before you stop or turn around, make sure your path is clear. This advice applies to running in both daylight and darkness.
Respect the Road
- Now is not the time to forget any of the pedestrian basics. Look both ways before crossing a street, wait for drivers to wave you through when waiting at stop sign and watch out for cars backing out of driveways. And don’t jaywalk, or jayrun for that matter.
Follow Your Instincts
- If you feel that you’re entering an unsafe situation, trust your gut and run to a safe location. Call police if you notice anything suspicious.
Always Have Identification on You
- Put your driver’s license in your pocket or wear an ID tag on your shoe. Consider running with a Road ID shoe tag, which has an emergency contact information on it.
Set Goals and Celebrate Progress
- One of the best ways to keep motivated is to set attainable goals for yourself.