Have you heard about this woman? What an inspiration! Ida Keeling is 99 years old, and she just set the World Record for running the 100-Meter in 59.80 seconds! I am so amazed!….If on the crazy chance that I live to be 99, I would love to still be able to run half as well as she does! Go Ida!
If running is something we want to be able to do for life, we’ve got to make sure that we are making smart choices on our runs TODAY. There are a lot of factors that go into smart running, but today I’m specifically talking about being safe out there. This post is written to me too, because heaven knows how many times I’ve walked out the front door for a run without even a thought to personal safety! It’s waaay too easy to think – “What I’m doing is ok, nothing bad is going to happen to me on my run!” Guess what? Bad things do happen out there on the road, to smart people like you and me, every single day. It’s up to us each time we hit the track to take precautions to protect ourselves. And even then, taking precautions does not guarantee safety, but it does definitely help!!
Here are a few things to consider on each outdoor run:
1. Carry a cell phone
Tons of runners hit the road without a phone all the time (Including me-yikes! Preaching to myself on this one too!), and usually it’s not a problem! We leave, and we return home without a hitch. But what happens when you or I find out we’re being followed? What happens if we sprain our ankle so bad we can’t even stand up on it? What happens if we get injured or have a seizure, a bad athsma attack, and we’re all alone on the trail? What happens when we come across someone else on the trail who has gotten hurt? What happens then? Our phone can carry all our music, our fitness apps, and can give us a way to call the police or call for help if we need it. There are tons of phone sport armbands out there, for not very expensive! Starting today, let’s all bring our phones on our runs!
2. Turn down the music!
I run with music all the time! It’s totally motivating, and it helps to have a little distraction when I’m out there running mile after mile…believe me, I love having music or something to listen to as I run! I’m just saying, keep the volume down to a level where you can hear when someone or something is approaching from behind! I like to tune out the world and just zone out on my run as much as the next guy, but it is EXTREMELY important to be very aware of our surroundings as we run. Pay attention…is there a car approaching? Can the driver see us? Where is the closest cyclist? Just like airplane exits, the closest one may be behind you…do you know he’s back there? What about wild animals? What if that person quietly approaching behind you does not have good intentions for you? Just sayin…if you’re not looking out for yourself, who is?
3. Especially if you run alone, carry Pepper Spray
Ok, not everyone will agree with me on this one, but ladies, if you’re a lone runner, you should have a way to protect yourself. My husband bought me one that just clips on my running shorts…I’ve never had a reason to use it, thank goodness, but there’s always that possibility.
4. Run in groups or with a dog.
There’s power and protection in numbers! A predator will be much more likely to come after us if we are alone! A dog will greatly decrease the chance of an attacker coming up on us, and if we are with other people, they are able to call or get help in the event of a sudden injury or sickness. If you do run alone, see instructions 1-3!
5. Run in the light.
When it’s dark outside, it is much more difficult to see. Obviously. So, the likelihood of us stumbling on objects or coming across wild animals on the road or the trail is much greater! We can get hurt. Also, in the shadows, in the dark, there are many more places for attackers to hide. It’s just not worth it. If you want to exercise at night or in the early morning, make sure the area you’re running in is extremely well lit, and wear reflective clothing! Make sure you can see clearly, and that others can see you clearly. Or, just go to the gym. Exercise at home. Don’t risk it.
There are many more factors that go into running safety, but these are just a start to get us thinking in the right direction. No person ever expects to become a victim, so that’s why it’s so important to do that little bit of extra homework before we head outside on our run. We all want to look like Ida when we’re 99, right? Let’s all do our best to make that happen!
Stay safe out there!