Written By:  Gabrielle Pfeiffer

Going for a run is so good for the body and mind that most people don’t think about the bad things that could happen. Nature, your body, or other people can pose a threat to you when you are hitting the pavement. It’s not healthy to dwell on the negative, but you do need to be prepared for realistic threats that lay out there. By making sure you are on guard at all times and being prepared, you can tackle any downturns head on.

Check the weather before you go

If you are going to be running outside in all of the elements, make sure you know what you’re working with. It’s a good idea to check the temperature, humidity, wind speeds, and look at the hour by hour breakdown of the forecast. This way you won’t be surprised by an abrupt thunderstorm, or overwhelmed by the heat and humidity.

Know the area you are running in

It’s best to take your run to a spot you are used to, especially if you are going alone. You should know every drop, hill, and potential hazard you may be facing. If you are taking a new route that you are not familiar with, make sure you learn as much as you can about it ahead of time. If anything else, keep your phone on you along with a compass, so that you can access your maps or GPS to locate where you are if you should get lost.

Bring the necessities

As I mentioned above, having your cell phone along is necessary for a multitude of reasons. Not only does your phone have access to maps and GPS, but it is your lifeline if something should go wrong. It’s best to try and stay in areas that you have service, but I know that’s not always possible. The least you should do is make sure you tell someone where you are, or where you will be going before you lose service. Another necessity to pack along is water, especially if you are running in the heat. It is so easy to get heat exhaustion in the summer months, so make sure you have plenty of H2O. If you are planning to be gone a while, pack any snacks or food you may need as well.

Be on guard at all times

Sadly, in this day and age there are so many stories on the news regarding predators and victims. Running paths are a widely known target for many predators, because it is not uncommon to catch runners off guard. Most of them are not paying attention to the surrounding environment, and are not ready to defend themselves, so they make an easy victim. Just make sure you are aware of your surroundings, and be ready to defend yourself if need be. Again, telling your friends or family where you are going beforehand will help them to be ready for action if you go missing.

No one likes to think about the “what-ifs” when it comes to their safety, but sometimes it is necessary. The more you prepare, the better you will be able to handle it. Making sure you are prepared, know your surroundings, keep track of the weather, and stay on guard when you are in new or secluded places, you should be able to otherwise enjoy your run as normal. Running is a great way to clear your mind while conditioning your body, so enjoy it!

Gabrielle PfeifferGabrielle Pfeiffer