With the days getting darker and the evenings pulling in, I’ve been thinking a lot more about my safety.
I often go running in the evenings, and both my visibility and my personal security, are issues that are never far from my mind.
Today, I’m sharing 8 tips to help you stay safer this winter – and whether you’re a runner or not, I hope that you’ll find them useful!
8 Tips for Staying Safe when Running at Night
Let someone know where you’re going – Plan your route beforehand (avoiding hazardous and undesirable areas) and let a friend or family member know where you’ll be going, and when you plan to be back. Some running apps (such as Runkeeper) also allow your location be tracked in real-time – which may also be helpful for some!
Try to run in groups – The saying ‘safety in numbers’ is especially true when you’re out and about at night, so if possible, try to avoid walking or running alone. There may be running clubs in your area, or even casual jogging groups – and it can be a great way to meet new friends too! If there are no clubs nearby, perhaps you could consider starting up one of your own?
Choose a well-lit and populated route – If you can, try to stay away from country lanes, dark alleyways and areas where there aren’t many people around. Walking or running down the pavement of a well-lit and well-used road can be much safer, even if it’s a longer route!
Take your phone with you for emergencies – Having your phone with you can be extremely useful in emergencies, especially if you injure yourself during your run! (Something I know all about! Haha!) If you can, try to keep it concealed when you’re not using it though, as expensive smartphones can be a huge temptation to those who are looking to steal.
Carry a personal alarm – If the worst were to happen, this tip could save your life! Most personal alarms are very discreet and are small enough to pop in your pocket. You can even get ones that are designed especially for running, which fit around your arm. They can be used to frighten off your attacker and alert others nearby, to the fact that you need some help!
Wear high-visibility clothing – I learnt early on, that having proper running gear really makes all the difference. Not only does it make running more comfortable, it also greatly improves your visibility to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Wearing light-coloured, fluorescent, and reflective clothing is especially important when running at night, and you can even get fancy lights to attach to your trainers too!
Look, listen and be aware – This one may sound obvious, but when we’re distracted, it’s easy to become blind to the dangers that are all around us. Whether it’s a pothole in the pavement, a car turning into the road that you’re about to cross, or a kid racing towards you on a bike – it’s always a good idea to keep an eye (and an ear) out for hazards. Stop and look properly before crossing the road, and use pedestrian crossings when possible.
Learn some self-defence techniques – This one may sound a bit extreme, but having a few self-defence moves under your belt can not only help you to feel (and therefore appear) more confident, it can also enable you to fend off an attacker. Practicing traditional martial arts is also a wonderful way to keep fit, practice discipline and engage the mind, body and soul.
*This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are my own.