Running Safely in an Unsafe World: Runner Tips for when Running Out There

20150808_082912For the past few days, maybe for the past week, ever since the case of the Queens runner that was raped and murdered last week, I have been doing some thinking about me and running/training.

I have been running for about 3 years now and I must say I have never felt completely “unsafe” or “uncomfortable” running outside and/or by myself. Yes, I have seen some things that I wish I hadn’t seen, or been catcalled when all I wanted to do was enjoy a peaceful run.  I remember when I first started running, I did a lot of running with a group, but later I learn that as much as I enjoyed running with a group, running is also a solo sport. Personally, I enjoy a good solo run, especially when I’ve had a rough day, and need to release some tension. Ever since the news channels has been reporting recent cases of runners getting attacked (raped and killed) while out on a run, I have been a bit disillusioned with running and training. I personally don’t really feel comfortable out there anymore.

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[Begin RANT]

It’s a shame that we as woman cannot go out running without getting harassed or made uncomfortable. Furthermore, I’m even more tired at the fact that sick, perverted men can’t control themselves. It’s disappointing and disgusting. I see it everyday, and it starts with an uncomfortable catcall, that they can’t take the response women give in return.
What’s even sadder is the fact that somehow, like always, in this double standard, disappointing world we live in, women are often blamed.

I was recently speaking about the Queens runner’s case with an older male associate, that mentioned that perhaps the girl was wearing tight fitted clothes. I looked at him very confused and at the same time with disgust in my face and decided to end the conversation before it got any worse than that. So now, we can’t wear clothes that allow us to run freely, yet comfortable, because somehow we are asking to get harassed by men. Ugh. [End RANT]

This post wasn’t meant to be a rant, but more of a prevention and safety post for us runners to protect ourselves out there. Not just women, but men as well from getting robbed and killed. This post is also to create awareness to other runners, that we are all part of a running community, lookout for your fellow runner that might be running alone; if you see something do something.

1265495_10151917669018281_584544988_oBelow are my tips for running safely when running alone:

  1. Before I go out for a run I always tell someone my running route, how many miles I’m doing and how long it should take me. I also mention that if I’m not back by such and such time to call me. I think, sharing this information will be helpful to someone if for some reason something does happen.
  2. I don’t run with music and/or headphones or at least try not to. I like to be aware of my surroundings at all times.
  3. I run with a GPS watch, so I don’t use my phone’s battery, especially on a long run. I need my phone to be fully charged in case of an emergency.
  4. Carrying a small pocket knife or pepper spray should be legal, I have to do some research on that, as I know NYC has many rules, I can see this being illegal somehow.
  5. Run in groups as much as possible and if running solo, stay in well populated areas. It’s sad we can’t enjoy a peaceful run through the woods or a park without having to fear getting attacked by someone.
  6. Lastly, I will never say or suggest what to wear, as I do admit running in the summer time is no joke and when doing a long run, it’s hard not to run in just your sports bra. My advice is, again, be aware of your surroundings. Everyone is a suspect, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Look for help, and call someone on the phone to keep you company until you feel safe again. Stay focus and always alert.

20150718_092946Be safe out there, fellow runners.

 

For additional tips: 11 tips for Staying Safe on the Roads – Runner’s World

As for me, I’m still undecided whether I want to continue marathon training, besides what’s been happening for the past week and these horrible crimes, I do feel a bit uneasy. At the same time, I’m also thinking on taking a running break to focus on other things at the moment. I’ll share more in the near future.

2 thoughts on “Running Safely in an Unsafe World: Runner Tips for when Running Out There

  1. Eduardo Teodoro Sanchez Badillo

    Exelent Advice… i might add that the long runs should be done on well known routes and either in a bike lane or road and start with a group (even though you end up solo after a while)…

    can i tell you not to quit??… stay safe and don’t let outisde things stop you!…

    cheers

    1. Arie Rich Post author

      Thanks Eduardo!! I agree with your tips too, I run on bike lanes as well. Last week was rough with training, the news and stuff, but I’m going to get back out there this weekend and see how I feel. Two more months til Chicago…