For many runners, the sport offers them the chance to truly enjoy a quiet moment alone. Even if you like to run with a group sometimes or participate in the occasional race, there’s something about a solo run that can be particularly restorative and energizing. But running alone does come with some risks. Fortunately, there are some great tips and handy accessories that can help keep you safe. Check out this guide to find everything and how to be safe when running alone.
General Safety Tips for Solo Runs
Before diving into helpful self-defense tools for runners, take a look at these basic tips to stay safe when you’re running on your own:
- Run during daylight hours if possible.
- Stay in populated areas.
- Avoid narrow roads and corners with low visibility.
- Let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
- Carry a phone with GPS tracking.
- Download a safety app to your phone that can dial police in one click.
- Learn some basic self-defense moves.
Reflective Running Gear
If you plan to run alone at night, visibility can be a problem. One person running alone is hard to spot in the dark, which is particularly dangerous if you’re running near a road. Fortunately, you can boost your visibility considerably with reflective running gear. Today, there are plenty of stylish and comfortable options, including jackets, sleeves, leggings, vests, hats and more. The FlipBelt Classic and FlipBelt Zipper both come in reflective versions an especially effective way to improve your safety when you’re running alone near a street.
Another way to make yourself more visible when running alone at night is to wear a running light. In addition to helping others see you, it illuminates your surroundings so you don’t trip on ground objects. The FlipBelt Running Light is an excellent option because it sits at the waist, so it reduces glare and doesn’t bounce around like a headlamp would.
For many solo runners, being attacked is a real fear. Protect yourself with pepper spray that can stop an attacker or an aggressive animal in their tracks. We recommend SABRE pepper spray gel because it resists wind blowback to minimize unintended contact. It also comes with a hand strap that makes it easy to carry and have ready at a moment’s notice.
Make sure you read the directions carefully before you carry this accessory on your runs. Pepper spray is only recommended for use by those who understand how to use it properly.
If you’re not comfortable carrying pepper spray, a great alternative is a safe personal alarm system. The SABRE personal alarm is compact and lightweight. When you activate it, it can be heard up to 600 feet away to let others know you need help. The loud noise can be very effective at deterring attackers and signaling that you’re in distress.
Running with traditional earbuds in can be very unsafe when you’re alone. Many headphones and earbuds are designed to deliverable sound that blocks out other noise from your surroundings. This can be dangerous when running alone because you can’t hear someone coming up from behind you, a car honking at you or other sounds that signal that you’re in danger.
The solution is to wear headphones that are designed to allow for situational awareness. For example, MIIEGO AL3+ Freedom Woman Wireless Headphones feature a soft on-ear design that doesn’t isolate your ears. You can listen to music, podcasts or audio books while still being able to hear traffic and other noises in your environment. They are also Bluetooth-compatible, so you don’t have to deal with wires bouncing around on your run.
It’s important to keep essential items on hand when you’re running alone. Most people want to bring along a phone and keys at the very least. However, you might also want to bring along some cash or a credit card. Perhaps you need to carry an inhaler or water bottle. These items can help keep you safe and comfortable on a solo run, but they can also be a hassle to carry.
A running belt provides a simple and effective way to take these items with you without slowing you down. Stash your essentials in the belt so they’re within reach at all times. The positioning at the waist helps to distribute the weight and minimize bounce so you’ll barely notice the items are there. The FlipBelt Elite is perfect for runners because it has plenty of storage space, an anti-slip inner layer and premium moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabric.
When you have the right accessories, you’ll be able to head out on your run with confidence. To keep all of these protective items close at hand, be sure to get a FlipBelt that offers an easy way to store everything you need so you run hands-free without feeling weighed down.