Essential Safety Tips for Running Outdoors

Whether it’s because of busy schedules or personal preferences, many runners often run by themselves. If you run alone, it is imperative that you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. Safety is especially important if you're someone who is outside logging miles in the early morning or late evening. As a general rule, running alone is not recommended; however, if you have to do it, be sure to follow these safety tips.

Be Visible

If you wear bright colors, you are much more likely to be seen by motorists. When running at dawn, dusk, or at night, be sure to put on reflective or illuminated gear.

Always Run Against Traffic

It’s much easier to avoid traffic and oncoming vehicles if you can see them coming.

Run with Buddies

When possible, always run with a partner or group as there's strength and safety in numbers. In fact, your dog can make a great running buddy.

Vary Your Routes and Times

It’s easier to become a target when you are predictable. Potential attackers can study runners' routines and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area. Change it up. Also, beware if you have a public account on popular running apps such as MapMyRun or Strava. With these apps, strangers could have the ability to track your run.

Avoid Wearing Headphones

Save the headphones for the treadmill. If you must run outdoors to music, make sure the volume is low enough so you are aware of your surroundings and can hear other pedestrians, cyclists or cars.

Stick to Well-lit, Populated Areas

On days when you’re running solo, avoid secluded, dark areas. Move your run to a public space with good lighting, and if possible, run during daylight hours.

Only Explore with a Partner

When you explore new routes, always find someone to run with you. Once you’ve run it with a partner, you can then decide whether it’s safe enough to run alone. If you’re visiting a new city and want to find a good place to run, contact local running stores and ask for their recommendations.

Carry a Cell Phone

Keep your cell phone with you when you run. It’s great to be able to make a phone call in case of any emergency.

Follow Your Instincts

If you feel like you're entering an unsafe situation, trust your gut and move to a safe location.

Don’t Hesitate to Call the Police

If something happens to you or you notice anything out of the ordinary, call the police. It is important to report incidents immediately. ESP_running_outdoors_safety_pinterest

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Here are a few more tips from some of our runner friends on Twitter:

@FemmeFitaleFitClub My running tip would be - make sure you are seen. When running in the dark wear a reflective vest so cars and pedestrians can see you as you approach or run past. @coach_karenw If you aren’t sure whether you should run on the isolated trail alone, you probably shouldn’t. Trust your instincts and always play it safe. I like to use the Live Tracking feature on my Garmin 620 to share my run in real time with my family. @cindyruns Try to run on a busy road or path and wear bright colors - plus they're fun too! @Fit_Disney_Mom My safety running tip is to always wear reflective clothing. Especially as we head into the Fall months.

Do you have any additional tips for running safely? Please share with us on Twitter @eatsmartscales.

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