Running is a great way to stay physically fit and relieve the stress of the day. Unfortunately, the potential threat of being attacked or abducted while on a run can add to your daily stress. The reality is, while you are running, paying attention to where you are going, listening to music, all alone, you are an easy target for an attack. It is an unfortunate truth but with a few runner safety precautions you will be able to run with ease.

Do Not Run Alone

This may seem obvious and that’s for obvious reasons, it works. Attacks are far less likely to strike an individual who isn’t alone. With every extra person you choose to run with, you essentially double your chances of not being abducted. If you don’t have anyone to run with, run with a dog. Running with a dog can be fun and keep you safe. As long as the dog is taller than your knee, an attacker will likely want to avoid being attacked by a dog. If you don’t have a dog, borrow one. Dog owners are usually more than happy to have someone take their large dog on a run.

Do Not Run With Headphones

Running is the perfect activity for turning up some good music and tuning out everything else. This can be extremely dangerous however. Aside from the environmental dangers such as traffic that you are increasing astronomically, you eliminate the ability to hear a potential attacker coming. By dulling your senses, you becoming increasingly less effective from a surprise attack which is usually what attackers prefer. Completely eliminating music during your run can be difficult so try one headphone instead.

Carry Your Phone

This suggestion is something everyone likely already does so it’s probably not a tough request. Carrying your phone when you are alone is always a good idea but it is especially good if you are running. In the event something unfortunate does happen, it is best to have the ability to call for help. Attack happens so quickly it can be difficult to take the time to call for help but a quick call to the police with a description of your location and the attack can save your life.

Change your Route

Attacks aren’t always random. In fact, a lot of attacks on people are planned. If you have a consistence route that you run every day, that is an easy opportunity for abduction. As a runner, when you find a nice trail or route you prefer, it is easy to run every day but it is important to mix things up. This doesn’t mean you should never run your favorite route again but try a different one every other day or so. When an attacker learns your route, they learn the areas of that route you are most vulnerable.

Carry Mace

As long as you are over the age of 18 and not a felon, pepper spray is legal in every state. Runner’s mace is a tiny canister of pepper spray that is small enough to not affect your run but effective enough to fend off any potential attacker. It usually comes in a Velcro strap that fits nicely around your wrist or waist and has a spray range of around 10 feet. If you are going to be attacked, don’t be afraid to attack back.