Running Safety

Nov 02 2021

Now that we are past summer and second summer in Texas, I’m seeing more and more people in my neighborhood out walking, running, and jogging. But it’s evident, at least to me, that most of them have not thought about how to walk, run, or jog defensively to prevent accidents, injury, or assault. Walking, running, or jogging is a great way to exercise and relieve stress when your safety is in mind. So let’s look at some tips to help you avoid trouble.

  • Solo trips increase your vulnerability to attack or prolonged time without medical assistance in the event of an injury. Bring a partner with you for company and security. If you can’t bring a partner along, at least let a friend or family member know your intended travel route, when you are leaving, and when you expect to return. This can let them know sooner that something might be wrong and give a more precise area to search if you don’t return within the expected time.
  • Avoid running in the dark whenever possible. Walking, running, or jogging at night means you are less visible to others. Increasing your risk of attack without witnesses, potential traffic accidents, or trips and falls. If early morning or late night is the only time you can get out, take precautions like wearing bright colors or clothing with reflective materials, wearing a vest with lights, wearing a headlamp.
  • Be smart with headphones and earbuds. Listening to a book, music, or a favorite podcast is a great way to drown out the world and immerse yourself in your run. But at the same time, it reduces your ability to hear potential danger around you, like someone running up behind you, dogs barking or growling, and cars or other vehicles approaching. If you prefer to use headphones or earbuds during your workout, place them in or over only one ear, allowing you to listen for potential danger with the other. Also, try not to listen at high volumes for your physical safety and to protect your hearing.

Additional safety tips:

  • Actively practice situational awareness by paying attention to what’s going on around you.
  • Use caution if someone stops you during your exercise. For example, someone asking for directions, especially if they are in a car. Leave at least an arms-length distance between you and the vehicle.
  • Carry a phone, but keep it out of sight.
  • Don’t wear jewelry or have other valuables visible.
  • Walk, run, and jog facing traffic so you can see potential danger and move if needed.
  • If you think you are being followed, change direction and try to get to a well-lit store or restaurant.
  • Plan your route and know where safe places are if needed.
  • Avoid running near parked cars, bushes, trees, and alleyways.

And last but not least, run with confidence. Most bad guys are looking for easy targets and don’t want a victim that looks like they will put up a fight.

Run safe, run straight, and run smart.

By Cassie Shockey, Customer Programs Manager & LTC Instructor

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