Jogging outdoors solo: Because of the current... - Couch to 5K

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Jogging outdoors solo

Biscuit_Queen
Biscuit_Queen

Because of the current advice I avoided the gym this morning and attempted my first ever outdoor jog (Wk7Run2) around my local reservoir which is 5 minutes walk from my house. I was dreading the thought of being more visible and how much harder it would be physically, but getting there early morning I only passed one walker and managed the full 25 minutes! I actually enjoyed the change of scenery and fresh air and was really proud of myself for doing something I would never have done.

I’m now feeling deflated however because I let slip this morning’s triumph to my parents which led to a telling off about going anywhere other than main roads by myself. (I’m 35). Obviously I appreciate the point they are making but I’m essentially being told I can’t enjoy any of these places by myself ever! Which is very frustrating!

Is this familiar to anyone? Do other ladies out there enjoy the outdoors on their own?

25 Replies
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Roxdog
RoxdogGraduate

Oh well done for staying away from the gym and moving outdoors. I am 60 and run in quite a few out of the way places on my own. I try to avoid pavements because I am trying to protect my joints.

It's difficult as women to stay empowered and entitled to be in any spaces we want.

I would say do what you feel comfortable and safe with, vary your route quite a bit and always have a phone. Perhaps tell someone where you are going (Although I rarely know my route until I actually run)

People are mostly safe but it's your call. Think women need to be able to be confident and do what they feel is safe!

Good luck!

Biscuit_Queen
Biscuit_Queen in reply to Roxdog

Thank you so much for your reply!

I don’t want to be reckless about safety but I also don’t want to put things off limits, I’m so glad you understand!

To me main roads are also less nice to look at but it seems all the scenic places are considered dangerous!

Thanks again and happy running!

Mands50
Mands50Graduate

I always run solo but I switch on the location setting on WhatsApp so my husband can track me if needs be. I generally run when it’s light, so far all has been well. X

Thanks that’s good advice. I didn’t know WhatsApp did that so will have a look, thank you!

Mands50
Mands50Graduate in reply to Biscuit_Queen

If you have an iPhone, you open a message to send to the person you want to share location with then press the + sign and it give you location as an option in the drop down menu. Hope it works. X

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Mands50

This is what I do. And I’m more cautious when it’s dark.

If I feel anxious I take one earbud out and check around me.

I really agree with Roxdog’s terminology. It is hard to be empowered and to claim spaces for ourselves and I do resent that. So, I won’t stay indoors and I may not stick to main roads but I’m sensible too.

Mixing up routes and times is good advice.

I know exactly how you feel. My parents are forever telling me to be careful. I run around my local park ideally before work while it's quiet but it always has lots of dog walkers and joggers so I don't feel I am taking a risk.

Sandraj39
Sandraj39Ambassador

🙂 I love to run off road at the weekends for my long run on the local bridleways, fields and woodlands.🏃🏽‍♀️🌳🍂🐾🌿🐑 I live in a pretty 'safe' area (generally speaking) and always take my phone with me and tell others where I'm going and for how long.

On the trails, the only people I tend to see are other runners, dog walkers and cyclists and they tend to be few and far between and are usually very friendly.🙂 I think maybe there have been one or two 'oddballs' over the years but I always give them a wide berth and then feel slightly bad for being suspicious! I guess the advice is to be sensible and run where you feel comfortable and in an area you know. I like Mands50's Whatsapp idea.

I once ran down a fairly remote local county road with only the occasional passing car and didn't feel comfortable at all, so have never included it in my runs again.

I always think I am more at risk from tripping over tree roots or falling over in the mud on my routes...both of these have happened! 🙄😂

Nilsam
NilsamGraduate

Hi Biscuit _Queen. There are a lot of us solo female runners. I don't post my route from my phone and don't do wood tracks. My husband lectures me about not going down alleys but I do use one. It is a mixture between would you walk it...why not run it. Yes having a phone but not on display. (The other thing is your parents will always worry about you...thats the way of the world.) Take care. Happy running. 🏃‍♀️👍

Granspeed
GranspeedGraduate

I think Nilsam makes a very good pout: it is the nature of parents to worry (at least a bit) about their children. Take it as a sign of love and then do what you feel is safe and comfortable for you. There are lots of good suggestions here. I myself am always a solo runner and have never been bothered by anyone in parks, field paths or lanes. Traffic on the other hand gives me the heebie-jeebies, especially at junctions. So it’s very individual. Happy running. 👍🎉

Jell6
Jell6Graduate

My husband would prefer that I don't run alone on the lanes, but it's my favourite route. I always used to go around 06.00, but now am trying to go around 07.30 or later so probably more sensible. My mother would rather I didn't run anywhere 🤣, but like Nilsam, I never post my route, and I always have my phone.

Speedy60
Speedy60Graduate

I'm 59 and have been running for 7 months. My 90 year old mother doesn't even know. She would simply think I was stark staring mad (which of course I'm not 🤪). When she reached her pension age 30 years ago, the idea was to have a rest, not charge round the streets making a spectacle of yourself!

Nilsam makes a good point. I walk in all sorts of places on my own, so why wouldn't I run them? The only hassle I've ever had is once when some boys shouted at me from a car, and that was in the town part of my run.

The only thing I've thought about lately is that I usually run with no form of ID on me, so if anything unfortunate was to happen, no one would know who I was. I'm thinking about buying a plastic parkrun ID bracelet ,it might encourage me to start parkrunning into the bargain.

My husband has never questioned where I run, don't know what that says about us. 😳

😂 my other half never seems to bother either, so you’re not alone on that one.

I’d get the same reaction from my parents if I was to walk alone in any of these places as well. As I say, I do understand and I appreciate that they care.

Today we tried a compromise with a tracking app so will see if it reassured them at all.

Thanks for all the advice, this forum is the most I have appreciated social media for a long time 😊

Dexy5
Dexy5Graduate in reply to Speedy60

On the ID point, I bought the credit card size parkrun barcode which came with 2 key tags. I have laced a key tag on my running shoes so it’s there whenever I run. It’s got my name, emergency phone number and vital medical information. I thought it would also come in handy if I have forgotten my barcode on a Saturday. Of course I haven’t forgotten it since, as I get a reminder as I’m lacing up my shoes 🤣.

Imc50
Imc50Graduate

From a chaps perspective BQ firstly definitely stay safe out there, but you should have a route that's used by other runners, maybe did a little research check it out, what times they run etc, and don't be afraid to ask 👍

Biscuit_Queen
Biscuit_Queen in reply to Imc50

Thanks will look into that 😊

Irish-John
Irish-JohnGraduate

I would never tell a sensible female not to run on their own - but also can sympathise with your parents concerns for your safety.

There are some godawful people out there, doing unspeakable things when they get an opportunity.

I personally tried very hard not to let my personal experiences from my former work impinge on my kids freedoms, but on a few occasions and with the best will in the world I was a bit too paranoid on their behalf.

They didn't understand when they were younger, now they do. They know a little bit about what I had to deal with and how horrible it could be. (That's not an excuse btw but an explanation )

If you can have a frank and reasonable sit down with your folks and get them to put their fears in rational words, you will know what you are dealing with and quite possibly when they hear what they are saying they might realise they are not treating you as a sensible adult but are still "seeing" the wee daughter they want to protect from all harm.

If they are irrational - well unfortunately one cannot reason with the unreasonable so you have the choice then to please them, or please yourself.

I sincerely hope this might help, I sincerely hope the first scenario is the reality, and I certainly wish you many happy miles in your future.

It's not always easy being a parent - or having them either. 😬🙂

Best wishes to you, on and off road :)

Thank you so much for your reply!

I do appreciate they’re looking out for me. Today we compromised with a tracking app so I’ll see how that goes and also look into what other options I’ve got for somewhere outdoors and flat that they might be less concerned about.

Irish-John
Irish-JohnGraduate in reply to Biscuit_Queen

Happy family makes for happy running BQ, I'm glad you all are finding common ground :)

Yes people worry. It’s natural. I think it’s about being open and straightforward. There’s no more reason to fear running than going for a walk. Time of day can seem strange to others though.

My husband got very worried about me running early I have tried to be as sensible as possible.

He can track my route. I go on varying days. I run on lit streets near dwellings. I go at the time there is a shift change at the factory and people are around. I say Hi to delivery drivers and stall holders setting up. I think I am going to buy an alarm. I run with a large dog.

The large dog 🐕 I had anyway and he slows me down 🤣😂🤣😂

Seriously I did have a dubious experience a couple of weeks ago but could just of easily happened in the day. I’ve walked in isolated places all over.

And. My husband still worries but he says he’s proud of me for getting out there. Hopefully you’ll get sorted too!

sTrongFuse
sTrongFuseGraduate

Not a woman (obviously) but my advice for solo running would be the same to everyone.

- Always take your phone

- Let someone know where you are planning running (the whatsapp location is good for this)

- Carry a whistle (in case you have a fall and end up at the bottom of a hill and can't get back to the path, so you can attract attention)

- Be aware of your surroundings

- Trust your instincts

Other than that, just enjoy and be safe.

Had never considered falling! Good tip, thank you

mom24uk
mom24ukGraduate

I've was also cautioned (and am wary) of running in isolated areas so we tend to stick to main roads in the morning when there are less people to see me! I also use strava and was advised to keep my settings private so that people don't know the routes we use. I haven't switched our routes up yet as every other way from here includes a steep hill 😲

Yes, here too! I might have to attempt the lesser hill, just wanted to get to the end of the programme really before I attempted anything like that. 2 weeks to go and I think week 8 might be delayed slightly because my ankle is sore from not being used to uneven ground

mom24uk
mom24ukGraduate in reply to Biscuit_Queen

Oh no! I hope it heals for you soon.

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