I love to run and it almost kills me to see someone (especially a woman) out running violate some very simple safety guidelines for running. Then I thought, 'maybe they just don't know.' So, I thought that I would share some safety tips I learned from a great book I have been reading, The Complete Book of Running for Women.
#1- Leave Word of your whereabouts. Just let a friend or family member know when you leave, your route, and when to expect you home.
#2- Carry Identification. Info to help any emergency response people know allergies and who to call if you are unconscious.
#3- Avoid "lonely" Roads. It is fun to explore while running. However, taking isolated roads on your run can be very dangerous if you are alone. Take a friend.
#4- Rearrange your Route. Never run the same route multiple days in a row. Don't be trackable by a stalker.
#5- Be Aware. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Do not avoid eye contact with strangers. A person who is going to attack will when they can catch you the most unaware of your surroundings.
#6- Do Not Wear a Headset. I know that many people like to run while listening to music; however, when running out on the street the earplugs you have blasting in your ears are limiting one of your most valuable senses while running. You can't hear cars or people. You are extremely vulnerable. Run on a treadmill with headsets, not outside.
#7- Run in daylight hours. Never run alone between 6pm and 6am.
#8- Don't talk to strangers. I know we all teach our children this principle, but we need to be reminded as well. If someone stops to ask for directions keep your distance and yell the answer to them or just tell them you don't know.
#9- Carry a safety device. Examples) pepper spray, Persuader.
These are great guidelines for running safety and I hope that you remember them the next time you go out for your exercise.