Fitness enthusiast Jack Debrabander explains how athletes can stay safe while running outdoors alone.
EAST LANSING, MI / JUNE 4, 2020 / Running is considered a relatively safe sport. However, nearly 60 percent of women state that they’ve experienced some kind of harassment while running. Attacks on solo runners, both male and female, do occur, and fitness enthusiasts like Jack Debrabander explain that runners can take several precautions to stay safe while running outdoors.
“Unfortunately, it’s difficult to feel entirely safe while running alone, even if it’s in your neighborhood,” Jack Debrabander says. “But there are several things runners can do to boost their confidence and enjoy running outdoors without constantly being in fear.”
Jack Debrabander explains that runners should always be aware of their surroundings. That involves steering clear of areas that make it easy for someone to hide, such as dense woods or bushes. He also explains that runners should also run against traffic, so they can see when cars are approaching and take action immediately if anything seems suspicious.
Jack Debrabander also explains that runners should not listen to headphones when running solo. However, he says solo runners should always carry a phone. Having a phone means runners can call 911 in the case of an emergency, phone home if needed or even use GPS when feeling lost. Armbands and waist-packs allow runners to carry phones comfortably.
“It is essential to always let someone know that you’re going for a run as well as the route you’ll be taking,” Jack Debrabander says. “Be sure to explain roughly how long you expect to be gone.”
Fitness enthusiasts like Jack Debrabander explain this can be as simple as sending a text to a friend or telling your spouse before you head out the door. He also states that wearing bright clothing and reflective gear is a must, whether you’re running during day or night. Bright colors are easier for everyone to see, allowing passersby to see you more clearly should an event occur.
“Most importantly, it’s about running with confidence,” Jack Debrabander says. “Sure, you may feel out of breath, but don’t run with hunched shoulders showing your vulnerability. Run with your head up and shoulders back to show that you’re not weak or struggling, even if you’re on the last quarter mile.”
Jack Debrabander explains that it’s important to feel comfortable and confident whenever you’re out running, whether that means selecting a particular neighborhood (even if it’s out of the way), carrying pepper spray, or having your spouse track your location via GPS. Jack Debrabander explained that staying safe while running has a lot do with properly planning your run, being prepared and avoiding areas or situations that simply don’t feel “right.”