How To Stay Safe While Running

by | Mar 8, 2022 | Running

When I’m out driving, I see other runners at the last minute. All I can think is they should be more visible when they are out running. Running in the dark can be dangerous. Reflective vest and wrist strap can be excellent during the dusk hours, but if you want to be seen before a car’s headlights hit your reflective vest, then buy a lighted vest. The lights on the vest will help you be seen and keep yourself out on the roads. I wear the Noxgear tracer when I’m out walking and running before daylight hours. Running vests that light up are lightweight and easy to use. The best I have takes batteries and blinks red when the battery is low. They currently have a vest that is rechargeable. This is not a sponsored post; I genuinely love the product. As a driver, I can see runners further out when they wear a vest that lights up. Another visibility piece is a headlamp. It can help you see out in front of you when running on a dark path or poorly lit roads. Headlamp can fit around your head and take a battery. 

Now that you can be seen while running. Let’s switch to personal safety. If you are out running alone, carry a taser, pepper spray, an alarm, whistle, or even a gun. Before you use these personal safety devices, become comfortable using them. Take a course on personal safety, and these courses are usually offered by your local police department or take a CCW permit course. Remember to get something that you are comfortable using and take it with you. Give your loved one updates on where you are going and when you can be expected to return. Run familiar routes but switch up your routine. Run a way in the opposite direction. Run different times/ days if possible. When in doubt, trust your gut. It’s better to be safe. Whatever you choose as your protection, be comfortable using it. 

If something does happen while you are out on your run, make sure you have some identification. You can run with an ID bracelet with emergency contacts or any medical ailments. If you are a cool iPhone user, we have a medical ID option on our phones. You have to add your emergency contacts from your contacts. If you are in an emergency, this can be found without unlocking your phone. On the iPhone, another neat feature is an SOS can be enabled by pushing the home key five times. A countdown from 3 will begin, and an alarm will sound. The alarm scared the crap out of me when I verified this feature. I quickly pushed the cancel button. If you do this on accident and cannot push cancel – stay on the line and explain what happened. Non-iPhone users tag me in your IG post on emergency features, and I will post in my stories. 

While you are out there running, make sure to follow the proper road etiquette if you can run on a path or sidewalks. On sidewalks, be aware when crossing driveways. On the road run on the side of the street-facing oncoming traffic, cars backing out may not see you until the last minute. It’s a good idea to practice this on the sidewalks too. Follow pedestrian traffic signals. This way, you can see cars approaching you and maneuver the best way possible. Suppose you are in a group run in a single file. Also, be alert in blindspots such as curves and hills. And remember to be visible. While out, headphones can be a safety concern for hearing your surroundings. Avoid wearing headphones if you can. Music lovers, keep the volume low or invest in some open-ear headphones.

We talked about this in a past blog post, How do I start running. But this can go under safety as well. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather. In the summer, moisture wicking to stay dry. Bring water to stay hydrated. Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn. As well as sunglasses for eye and a hat for head protection.

When it is wet rain or snow, find water-repellent clothing that is also breathable. This is important to make sure you don’t overheat. When I first started running in the rain, I went out in my north face rain jacket, and it was so hot. I quickly found a more appropriate jacket. In the winter, wear moisture-wicking to stay dry but layers to keep warm. You can also remove layers but not add them. Be sure to have gloves and a hat as well. I have a reel on my IG going into more details about clothing options. 

 To recap:

  1. Be seen – wear lights or reflective gear but lights are best.
  2. Have personal protection 
  3. Have identification and emergency contact available 
  4. Practice road etiquette 
  5. Keep headphones low or go without
  6. Dress appropriately 

Written by Aaliyah

Aaliyah Earvin is a certified personal trainer, life & health coach, and 200 hour RYT yoga instructor, whose passion is helping others become more confident in their wellness journey! Aaliyah has her masters in Sports Management from American Public University and her bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Youngstown State University where she ran collegiate track & field. When Aaliyah is not working with her clients, she loves running, swimming, cycling, lifting weights, and being active outside in nature with her kids.

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