Running Alone: Some Helpful Hints

More often than not I find myself out on solo runs, and recently realized the dangers that could be involved in my treks alone.  Having a crazy schedule definitely limits my runs with friends, but without a buddy I run a few risks.  Injury, getting lost, and accidents are just a few of the hazards that solo runners face when out on a run.  Here are just a few of the precautions I have since implemented into my running routine to make sure I stay safe:

  1. Make sure someone knows where you are. It’s always important to have someone that will notice if you’ve been gone too long.  For me, it’s my roomie, I either leave a note saying I’m out on a run and my general direction or let her know on my way out the door.
  2. Have an emergency contact number on you.  In the case of an accident, its essential that people can get in contact of someone for you.  Many people tell me that their phones will suffice, but let’s be honest, is a stranger going to know who to call?  I have a note in my backpack that states my name, who to call, and their phone number, right in the front pocket: easy to find.  Another solution is the Road ID tags that are available, I know my dad uses his all the time (and it definitely gives us peace of mind!)
  3. Try and keep to a public route.  I know the trail runners out there will have a harder time with this one, but in case of an accident it’s important that people can easily find you. Living in DC, I don’t have too much problem with this, but I do tend to stick to the sidewalks on more busy roads.  Well lit routes are definitely more preferrable as well.
  4. Have a planned route.  There is nothing worse then getting out on your run and getting lost.  I’m completely directionally challenged and therefore plan out my runs before I head out to be sure that I’m not wandering around aimelessly by myself.  This also helps if people need to find you, they can follow your route easily.
  5. Run with only one earbud.  This might seem a little extreme, but living in a city and being a running gal, I always feel safer when I can hear whats going on around me, so skip the blasting music and try for a softer background.

Hopefully you can take my plan and alter it for your own circumstances. My fellow solo runners, stay safe and run on!

-Kendall

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