I decided to take a more serious direction with this week’s Pinspire Me Friday post. I came across this Women’s Running video on running safety earlier this week on Facebook. I pinned it right away knowing this would be perfect for my weekly post.
If you’re a runner, walker, or just an outdoor enthusiast in general, you might find yourself out and about alone. Maybe it’s in your neighborhood, the park, a hiking trail, wherever. Whether you’re male or female, there can be dangers being out alone. I live in a really safe area where my main concerns when out running on the road are distracted or rude drivers, students riding their bikes on sidewalks on campus and running into me (yes, that’s happened), or animals like bears if I’m out trail running/hiking, which I’d never do alone anyway.
Regardless it can be helpful to know how to protect yourself. I think this video, while short, does a great job of providing some instruction on how to ward off an attack. However, we can’t forget the many other ways we can protect ourselves.
- When running in lowlight or dark conditions, wear bright colored clothing, reflective gear, and even lights.
- When running on the road, always run towards traffic. The exception being on a tight curve where it may be safer to cross the road to round the bend and then return back across once in a safe zone.
- When trail running, know your route and know if hunting is allowed in the area. In PA where I live, the best day to run is often on Sundays when hunting isn’t allowed.
- Carry pepper spray or bear spray if in the woods. Wearing bells also makes you more likely to alert wild animals to your presence and give them an opportunity to retreat.
- Always let someone know where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, and when you’re expected to be back.
- If possible carry identification. I use RoadID and plan to get some for my parents.
- Carry your cell phone. I purchased a Spibelt before the Marine Corps Marathon and it’s awesome. I’ve used it on several runs since. It stays in place and is large enough for my cell, key, and sports beans or gels.
- Run with others. I think the old adage of “safety in numbers” that we were told as a kid holds true.
These are just a few things I’ve learned about through reading and talking with fellow runners. It’s not an all-inclusive list and you may have more or better ideas that you can share with me. The bottom line is to always do your best to be as safe as possible no matter what activity you’re pursuing. Oh and most importantly, don’t forget to have FUN!
Alright enough with the seriousness. Have a great weekend!
Question: What ideas do you have for staying safe while pursuing outdoor activities?