Personal safety has always been a big concern for ladies, especially women who run solo and in the early morning hours when it is still dark outside. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself while you are running to increase your personal safety.
Do not run with headphones. You cannot hear what is going on around you when you have music blasting in your ears. Put your music on a speaker and enjoy your tunes that way so you can still hear people, cars, or even dogs. Not wearing headphones will allow you to fully be aware of your surroundings.
Change up your route. If you run the same route every day at the same time, it is easy for a predator to catch on to your schedule and plan an attack. Changing up your routine and routes makes it harder for a stranger to predict where you are going to be and when.
Let somebody know when you are starting your run and when you expect to return. It doesn’t even have to be a phone call. You can text a friend or leave a note. Letting somebody know when you expect to return will make it easier for them to know sooner if you are in trouble and need assistance.
Be wary of using public restrooms where somebody could box you in. Restrooms can make an easy target. You don’t want to be caught off guard and half dressed. Make sure if you are planning a restroom stop to use someplace that is well lit, has secure walls that nobody can climb in from underneath, and locks.
Carry a whistle or mace. A whistle can be very loud and bring attention to you. This is exactly what you want if your safety is in jeopardy. Bring as much attention to yourself as possible! Criminals do not want to get caught. If you make a lot of noise or bring attention to yourself, they will leave out of fear of being recognized or caught.
Carry a phone so you can call for emergencies. Program phone numbers that you can push just one button instead of dialing an entire number. Understand the severity of your emergency and take appropriate action quickly. If someone is following you, bothering you, or simply just acting weird, call 911 and request the police come out. They do not feel bothered to do that. That is their job. Do not wait until an emergency situation has already happened. You may not be in a position to call for help and waiting may not allow appropriate personal to arrive on time in your need of distress.
One of the most important rules can be a scary one. If you are ever attacked while running, never allow yourself to be removed from the first crime scene. The second crime scene will be much worse and chances of survival drop dramatically if you allow yourself to be moved.