The weather may be warming up where you are and maybe you are getting the itch to go running or perhaps you never stopped running through the colder months. In either case it is vitally important to make sure that you keep yourself safe while you are enjoying your run.
Back a few years ago when we lived in Philadelphia, there was a story in the local news about a female jogger who was strangled while out for a jog at night. It definitely caught my attention and not only was I deeply saddened for the family of this lady, but I was stirred to step back and evaluate what I was doing to make sure I am safe while out running. Later on that week, it was released that the husband confessed to murdering his wife. It was not a random act of violence against a runner. In some ways it calmed my heart to know that this running accident was not a random act, but it broke my heart even more for the family. The runner left behind two teenage daughters.
In my search for ways to be safer while out running, it came to my attention that Road ID had a smart phone app. At first the specs of the app sounded great, but when I put it into use, I was rather disappointed. There are certain aspects to the app that I did like, but overall it does not make me feel safer about potential attackers.
What the app does is sends a text to the person of your choosing when you go out for a run. In the text, there is a link to an address where the person can track your activity in real time. This is the part I like. The part I don’t love is that if you stop moving for five minutes the phone will start sending out a warning signal and if it is not stopped in 60 seconds, it sends out a text notifying your contact person that you have not moved. The reason I don’t love this is that 5 minutes is way too long of a time to be stopped before someone is notified. It would be helpful if the person was injured and couldn’t move, but in regards to someone being abducted, the runner would be long gone in 5 minutes. Also, the person would have to leave their phone so that it is stationary for 5 minutes, but then they would be gone by the time the contact person looked up where they were and got themselves there. I understand that nothing is perfect, but I think that they should allow the amount of stationary time before notification to be changed to the users liking.
Another feature of the app that I did like was that the user can change their lock screen while they are out running to be set to their emergency contacts. It can also be set to add important information such as allergies, medical conditions, and blood type. Overall, the app is ok, but I would not depend on it to save my life.
So, when you go out running here are some safety tips:
Run with a partner if you can
Don’t go running in the dark by yourself (morning or night)
Run with your phone (I was guilty of this in the past)
Don’t run with earplugs (if you do, leave one out so you can potentially hear better)
Alter your route, so you are harder to follow
Don’t stop for people you don’t know
If you get into a hairy situation remember to S-I-N-G Have you ever seen Miss Congeniality??
If you are grabbed by an assailant remember these vulnerable points
If you are a new runner or someone looking to start over, I would encourage you to purchase our 6 week to 5K Runners guide.
In the guide, you will find useful information on how to warm-up and cool down properly, how to incorporate strength training, cross training, and rest days into your running schedule and an all inclusive 6 week program. There are also helpful topics discussed such as hydration, when to replace your running shoes, and what to eat before a morning run.
*All individuals who register for our 6 week Spring Training program that starts May 5th will receive 50% off our 6 week to 5K runners guide. That brings the price down to $10!!
If you already registered for spring training and you are interested in purchasing the guide, please send me an email at email@example.com so we can get you squared away.