If you’re one of the millions of people who enjoy running or jogging as a way of exercise and staying fit, then staying safe and personal security whilst running will no doubt always be a top consideration for you.
In this article, we’ll look at how to maximise your personal security whilst out running, as well as looking at how to keep you as safe and as secure as possible through a number of small changes you can make to your running routines.
Below is a handy table of contents, click on the heading to take you to the specific place on this page.
Table of Contents
1. Run With Others
Running with others will improve your personal security whilst running ten fold.
As the old saying goes, there’s safety in numbers.
It’s also a lot more enjoyable from a social perspective, and of course from a training perspective – training with others is proven to improve fitness and helps you acheive your goals quicker.
But running with even just one other person (or as an organised group) can help if there is a medical situation (such as an injury), and also guard against things like muggings and robberies – a criminal is far more likely to attempt to rob a single runner rather than a group of runners.
If you have nobody in your social circle to run with, do consider joining a running club – simply Google the area you live in and running club, for a list of local running clubs.
2. Run In Well Lit, Well Populated Areas
Running in dark, quiet places can lead to a multitude of problems when we talk about personal security whilst running, specifically with regards to injuries sustained and the risk of muggings, robberies, assaults or worse.
If you are running along dark, unlit country lanes in the early hours of the morning then you have a greater chance of being hit by a car, injuring yourself on uneven surfaces or even becoming the victim of a crime.
Compare that to running in daylight hours, in areas where people are present, and the you can clearly see the benefits.
That being said, many will run early in the morning or later at night to fit in with their home, family or work commitments, so we can see how this might be a problem for some people.
If you must run in these hours of darkness, do still try and run in populated areas as opposed to areas that aren’t well lit or have nobody about.
3. Earphones, Not Headphones
If you listen to music, podcasts or any other audio material whilst out running, then do make sure you are not completely losing one of your 6 senses.
Hearing is vitally important when it comes to personal security whilst running.
If you can only hear your music, then you cannot hear any of your surroundings or danger that may be imminent.
That’s why I recommend running with earphones and not headphones – because with headphones, you have no choice but to have them on both ears – but with earphones, you can use just one ear:
One ear for listening to audio, one ear to listen out in your surroundings.
Many years ago I was running early one morning with headphones. Out of nowhere a dog appeared snapping at my ankles, and I must admit, I got an almighty shock.
It really made me think about my safety – that could have been a person intent on robbing me or causing me harm, but I had no idea the dog was near me because it approached me from behind.
From then on in, I’ve always run with earphones – one earphone in, one earphone tucked down my shirt.
4. Run In the Correct Gear
Wear high visibility clothing, especially if you run around the hours of dusk or dawn.
High vis is a cheap and very effective way of you being seen by people driving vehicles, on bicycles or motorbikes.
If you have a medical emergency at any point, you’re also far more likely to be spotted in high vis than if you were wearing dark clothing.
Hig vis running gear is available in all good sports shops, and will improve your personal security whilst running hugely.
5. Tell People Where You Are Going And What Time You Will Return
One of the best things you can do to imporve your personal security whilst running is to tell somebody your intentions.
Let people you know exactly where you are running and roughly how long you’ll be gone for.
If you don’t live with anyone, try and text a friend and then text when you get back.
Without this communication, if something untoward does happen to you, nobody will raise the alarm because nobody knows what you are doing or where you are.
Whatever you do, don’t post details of your run on social media.
6. Invest In A Cheap, Small Phone
Most people know have phones that cost upwards of £500 – in some cases, the latest phones can cost over £1000.
A lot of runners will run without their phones to protect the phone from being dropped, damaged by rain, or lost.
Some will also not take a phone because they are big, bulky and heavy – with nowhere to store them or they become annoying by bouncing around in pockets.
And some will not take their phones for fear of them being mugged for them.
7. Don’t Have Your Phone On An Arm Strap
During my time in the police, I attended two incidents where a runner had their phones ripped off their arms and stolen.
In both cases, the runners had an armband which allowed them to carry their mobile phones on their arms.
This may seem like a good idea, but it’s like waving a red flag to a bull, and advertising the fact that you are carrying an expensive phone, especially if you are running in areas with high crime rates.
The advice here is simple: If you don’t have to use one of these armbands, then don’t; buy running gear that wil safely accomodate your phone or music devie.
8. Have Money
When I go running, I always have a £2 coin on me.
And I’ve used this money three times now – twice when I was in desperate need for a drink, and once when I had to hop on a bus to take me home!
You never quite know when you’ll need some cash, so something like a £2 coin tucked away in your shorts or jacket is highly recommended!
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Questions And Comments?
I hope you found one or two good ideas on how to improve your personal security whilst running in this article.
Let me know what tips you have when it comes to personal security whilst running in the comments section below. Perhaps you have a good tip that’s not been mentioned here? Perhaps you were out running one day and you had some sort of security or medical incident?
Whatever it is, please do share below.