Personal safety is a hot topic at the moment, but it's always an important thing to consider. I noticed a lot of helpful replies in response to a recent post by a running community member who is worried about running by herself. I thought it would be useful to share them in a pinned post.
Many of these measures are invaluable when ANYTHING goes wrong with your run - for example if you lose your way, or if you have an accident and need assistance.
If you have any other suggestions feel free to comment and I will add them to the list! And thank you to the original poster and to everyone whose ideas I am sharing - I hope you all know who you are 😊
Happy safe running!
roseabi, and the Admin Team xxx
How to feel safer while running
★ First off, I would just like to emphasise that there is usually no need to worry about running alone. People are very rarely attacked when they are out by themselves, or at any other time. But I do realise it can be difficult to stop this kind of thing from preying on the mind, so please do consider your options and make sensible choices that work for you. You can have peace of mind to enjoy your running!
★ Find places to run where there are plenty of people about, or where you feel generally safer
★ Dress in bright and reflective colours, particularly if running at night and/or where there is traffic
★ Dress comfortably, and in clothing that is appropriate for the weather - choose clothes that make you feel good as this will help improve your self confidence and bearing
★ Remain aware of your surroundings, but also of the impact you might have on others - you can help them to feel safe too!
★ Be courteous to other people you meet (although perhaps not overly friendly!) - building recognition helps foster a stronger and safer community
★ Behave like you have purpose and confidence in what you're doing and where you're going
★ If you enjoy running with other people join a running club and find some running buddies
★ Tell someone at home, or a neighbour, that you are going out for a run, and when they should expect you back
★ Take your phone with you on your run, so you can contact someone if you are delayed, or otherwise worried
★ Use the SOS facility (iPhone, Samsung phones)
★ Use the Personal Safety feature on Android phones (newer versions)
★ Strava subscribers can use the Strava Beacon facility for sharing their real-time location
★ Garmin Connect has the 'Livetrack' feature which allows users to share their real-time location plus all the data Garmin measures (including elevation gain, heart rate, cadence, etc.)
★ Keep your profile on Strava and other GPS apps private, so you are not advertising your routes to all and sundry
★ Vary your routes, and the times you go running, so you are less predictable
★ Carry a whistle or other type of alarm
★ Avoid running in the dark, or choose well-lit routes
★ If you need to, or indeed prefer to, run in the dark - wear a head or chest lamp, and carry a spare one with you
★ Remain aware of your surroundings either by choosing to run without music. Or use just one ear bud, or bone-conducting headphones, which will allow you to hear what's going on around you
★ Share your location with your loved ones on Google Maps
★ WhatsApp has a live tracking feature
★ If you don't like the look of something or someone up ahead change your route
★ Set up incident detection features on your running watch
★ The Hollieguard app allows you to use your phone as an alarm
★ The What3Words app can help you share your precise location in a nicely user-friendly way
★ Be aware of safety hazards and safe places on your running routes
★ Check very carefully when crossing roads and approaching road junctions