Many women continue to reflect on personal safety when leaving their homes and participating in something that shouldn’t be enshrouded in fear.
For most women, we don’t have the luxury of a completely carefree run.
Personally, I have been doing long runs outside in the early hours of the morning for many, many years. I don’t let fear stop me from running–be persistent in what you want. However, there are some things that I do as added precautions against dangers, some are just good practice regardless of your gender.
Precautions and Tips:
Use knuckle lights or a headlamp, making you more visible.
Stay in lit areas by choosing routes that have street lamps. Often these routes are also popular and have more people.
Mix up the route. While I do often run the same routes, I try to keep the day unpredictable.
Tell someone where you are going. I try to always tell my husband which route I plan on taking before heading out. I grew up always telling my parents the same information by leaving a sticky note in view.
Carry pepper spray. This is also good for stray dogs, which has been a huge problem in the countries I have lived in outside of the US. I used to rely on this as protection against any creepers too, but I recently made a new purchase. See next tip.
Ghost a certain radius around your start/stop location when using something like Strava.
Use one headphone or no headphones.
Don’t wear a ponytail. Seems a bit weird, but I have watched a lot of those self-defense videos and they always say men try to grab you by the hair. So, try a bun or a hat.
Speaking of self-defense, take some classes. Be ready to fight.
Trust your instinct. As women, we have spent our lives considering if the guy that just walked by us is going to hurt us or not. If you get a weird feeling, cross the street, take out your phone, prep your pepper spray, duck into a convenience store. Stop feeling insecure about your instincts.