Even though running is said to be one of the cheapest sports to take up (all you need are some good shoes and clothing after all), it’s important to invest a little money in items to keep you safe. Safe from cars, other people, and even stray dogs. With that in mind I thought I’d share the things that I’ve bought to help keep me safe when I’m out running through the neighborhood or at the park.
1. I wear bright clothing and reflective gear. This includes a reflective vest, bright colored tops, and even a neon yellow Bic Band. I do a lot of runs after work meaning I don’t get started until at least 6 pm just as the sun is sinking below the horizon. Even though I do all my runs on the sidewalk I still try and make myself as visible as possible so drivers can see me when I go to cross the street.
2. I wear a Road ID bracelet. This was on my runner’s Christmas list and my parents were nice enough to buy one for me. God forbid anything bad ever does happen, it’s important to have some contact numbers and allergy information on me.
3. I run with a dog. Usually I run with my golden retriever, Eloise but occasionally I’ll take Duncan the newfoundland out on shorter runs. Of course I don’t recommend anyone get a dog for the sole purpose of safety on runs but if you have a dog you might think about taking him/her with you (not only will they help keep you safe but the exercise will help them live longer). Even though neither dog would hurt a fly, people are always weary of big dogs. Especially big dogs with loud barks.
4. I carry pepper spray. This is my newest safety item. In fact I just got it last week.
Because even though dogs are a good deterrent against people, they tend to attract other dogs (and strays are a big problem in San Antonio). Just last week someone I know was out running with her small dog when 2 dogs jumped the fence and started attacking. She immediately picked up her dog but then the dogs attacked her. Thankfully her high pitched screams were enough to get the dogs to back off but not before doing enough damage that a trip to the ER was required. Enter in me purchasing a hand held canister of pepper spray which DOES work on dogs.
5. I always have my cell phone. I use my cell phone as a GPS and music but even if I didn’t need those things I’d still take my phone with me just in case. What if I get injured 4 miles from home, what if something happens to Eloise while we’re running, what if it starts storming? You just never know what’s going to happen while you’re out on a run and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So tell me…
What do you do to help guarantee your safety when running?