Safety Tips for Solo Runners

August 22, 2019

Woman Running

It’s 4 AM and the kids are still sleeping. This is your only window to get that morning run or walk in but it’s still dark out. How can you go about your fitness in the safest possible way? We have found a combination of safety tips, some old school and some more techie-focused, that will keep you safe on the streets, trails, tracks, or wherever you prefer to get fit!

  1. Always tell someone when you’re going and where you’ll be – a spouse, friend, or another relative.
  2. Take it a step further by utilizing technology and sharing your location via your smartphone with the people in your life.
  3. It’s better to go in pairs or groups but if you must go alone, keep your fully charged phone visible and be talking on it if at all possible. Predators don’t like an audience.
  4. Have an air of confidence about you – shoulders back, head high, voice firm when you make eye contact and say hello, which is a good way to keep potential attackers at arm’s length.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings (avoid running near shrubs, alleyways, etc.) and trust your gut instincts; if they are screaming “danger!” then go the other way.
  6. Run or walk toward oncoming traffic so you always have a line of sight.
  7. If you are new to the area in which you’ll be running, research it for crime rates.
  8. Wear reflective gear and/or a headlamp when it’s dark out.
  9. Take a self-defense class, such as krav maga (which we discussed in our College Campus Safety Series).
  10. Invest in pepper spray (if you have the proper know-how and are comfortable using it) or purchase a gadget that can be worn on your wrist (or somewhere accessible) that emits a loud sound. Some will also send an SMS message to your selected contacts.
  11. Consider omitting your tunes or limiting them to a lower volume or just one ear; this is so that your ears can be alert to traffic, animals, and other potential predators.
  12. Change up your routine so that it’s not predictable. Run in a different direction or area or on different days of the week/times of day but avoid the same exact routine on the same exact schedule.


These tips can apply to hiking, biking, and many forms of exercise that make you vulnerable. It’s impossible to calculate every possible risk but using these tips will make for a safer, empowering experience.