Running Safety Tips – A List
You Should Read At Least Once..!

For most of us, running safety tips are too easily forgotten about. In fact, when researching this topic, I found a few things which were useful for my own running safety - normally things which get put to the back of my mind. So sometimes a little reminder is a good thing…

Remember, running is normally a completely safe activity but if you are doing certain things to keep yourself from danger, you will feel that bit safer

Here you will find running safety tips which point out things you are probably already doing, but if this page points out just one thing for your running safety, then… job done :-)

So have a look through the list and see if there is something which stands out for you - and by the way, this is not an opportunity for you to turn round and say,

“Right, I am not running anymore, it’s not safe!” – you don’t get away that easily!

Seriously though, don’t be bogged down with the negatives and use this page to find ways of preventing danger before it has a chance of happening,

... it is the best way to look at it… ;-)

Run Facing The Traffic

If running on country roads without a pavement always run facing the traffic. This might sound crazy, but if you run towards the traffic you can see whether a driver has seen you or not – they will usually pull out and make room for you as they approach, and even if they don’t you can stop in time and move out of the way. You don’t want traffic coming from behind you if you can help it, but if the road has some sharp bends, cross over so that you don’t face any sudden surprises! - then cross back over when you have gone round. Avoid the open road when it is dark (even if you wear running lights!), and consider other options on where to run

Give Way To Traffic

Watch out at road junctions. I have been caught out one or twice running on roads - never assume a driver has seen you and try to make eye contact with the driver where possible (often they will wave you on), otherwise stop running and let them through – running lights are good for being seen!

Make Yourself Visible

Running off road, on road, daytime or night, one of the most important running safety tips is to make yourself as visible as possible! Find running gear with reflective properties - jackets, running vests etc. and opt for vibrant colours such as luminous green, orange or yellow. As a motorist I often catch a glimpse of something shinny or colourful, giving me plenty chance to see a runner or cyclist. You can also buy reflective strips for more visibility

Run With A Buddy

As running safety tips go, this one is not always doable, but if you can find someone to run with regularly, great! – you can look out for each other and you are statistically less likely to be attacked if you are with another runner. But finding a running partner who matches the same pace as you, same running goals and so on, can be difficult. Maybe joining a local running club could help you find someone?

Running With Dogs

Your dog can become the ideal running partner! Most dogs will run with you naturally and run by your side - and if they prefer not to run with you put them on the lead, they get used to it. I run with my two Jack Russells and you should see them kick off if someone is being unfriendly – they’re not called terriers for nothing! Being with a dog while you run is a great deterrent for any would-be attackers

Learn Self-Defence

OK, learning a martial art might take too much time, but a few self-defence lessons can work wonders for your confidence if confronted. This is one of those running safety tips you just might never get round to but just learning the basics could get you out of a tight corner one day. Or you could carry a whistle or personal alarm? Failing that, and if you have to resort to violence, aim for the vulnerable areas – throat, eyes, nose, knees and groin! (ouch) – or, if you are like me, leg it to safety towards a house or main road!

Change Your Routes

Avoid running in patterns – same time, same route – you become more vulnerable to attackers, especially at night. They can plan to attack you if they know the where’s and when’s – so mix up your routes - find 3 or 4 different ones and alternate them, avoid doing the same runs on the same day. You could also alter the time you go out for a run, if you are flexible

Runners ID

One of the most neglected running safety tips is wearing runners id. You can wear a bracelet, id tags on your running shoe or a pendant. Engrave your name and address, phone number and medical details (blood type, medication, illnesses), you can write on the inside of your insole which is also common practice. If the worst happens and you are found unconscious, someone can contact your friends or family; and if you are put in an ambulance the paramedics will know what medication you take, if any, or any allergies to certain drugs etc.

Take Cash With You

If you run long distances and happen to injure yourself, having cash with you can be a huge help – you could catch a bus or ring a taxi instead of walking back home on an injury. If you run out of water you could nip to a shop. Be careful though – I find pubs become more visible with money in my pocket :-)

Tell Someone Where You Are Going

Live with friends or family? - it might be a good idea to let someone know where you are going and what time you are due back. This might seem unnecessary (especially if you are wearing a runners id!) - but think about it, if you are running on trails or anywhere slightly remote (canal paths, cycle paths etc.) the authorities could be alerted to your absence by the person who is expecting you – otherwise there may be a chance of you remaining undiscovered while still unconscious

Keep On Running

You may hear heckles from time to time - (“keep those legs up!”) - but resist the temptation to answer them back, before you know it you will be exchanging insults which could then escalate to confrontation – best to put the blinkers on and keep on running!

Running Music

Lots of running safety tips I read recommend you to run without music (WHAT! I hear you cry) - I can understand this to a degree, but if you are sensible, listening to music while you are running is fine. Avoid earphones which go inside your ear, blocking out sound altogether - wear headphones which go on the top of your head instead, ones which allow you to hear outside sounds such as other cyclist, runners etc. I tend to leave my mp3 player at home if running near busy main roads but out in parks and on cycle paths, canals and so on, I will always take my music with me!

Take Your Mobile

Ring a taxi to take you home if you injure yourself or feel ill. Phone a friend and ask them to pick you up or let them know you will be late. Call the police if you are threatened or you see someone else in trouble

Watch Out For Others

Running along canal paths and cycle paths removes the danger of traffic but still be mindful of cyclists and other runners. Walkers in groups often don’t notice runners, in my experience, so give out a big, “EXCUSE ME!” to grab attention to yourself and if you are ignored shout again, only louder, and they soon notice you - if you are running down narrow canal paths this could be one of those running safety tips which could keep you dry!

Running Hot And Cold?

The weather affects us when we run so have a look at the running safety tips for running in hot weather and running in cold weather


Please, No More Running Safety Tips!

I told you all this talk about running safety tips might get you down – but don’t worry!

Like I said earlier, it is easy to get yourself down with the negatives - think of it this way…

You Can Feel Safe

...in the knowledge that you are a runner and therefore not an obvious target – if you are running, a would-be mugger would have to catch you, first and foremost - to a teenager this is surely too much bother and effort! – plus they might show themselves up in front of their mates when they can’t catch you!

So be mindful of running safety tips, yes – the rest of the time you should be enjoying your running ;-)


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