10 essential safety tips for women runners
Stay safe and enjoy running as the daylight hours get shorter
Personal safety for female runners
Safety has always been an important topic for female runners, especially at this time of year. As daylight hours change, we need to think about personal safety, road safety, and visibility so we can all continue to enjoy the sport we love!
When do the clocks change 2021?
In the UK, clocks go back one hour on the last Sunday of October, marking the end of British Summer Time (BST). This year, it’s pretty easy to remember as it coincides with Hallowe’en – 31st October. The clocks going back will mean darker evenings, and depending on where you live it could mean darkness falling before you finish work.
10 safety tips for women runners
1 Run in daylight hours if possible
The safest time of day is during daylight hours, or when it’s getting light (so your run ends in daylight). We appreciate that’s just not possible for everyone, but it’s worth trying to run in daylight if you can. Running after dark increases risk from other road users, and means you are more likely to stumble, slip, or be dazzled by headlights.
If you must run in the dark, stick to well lit routes and avoid alley ways or areas you’re unfamiliar with.
2 Wear reflective kit
Avoid all-black running kit at this time of year – it simply makes you less easy to see. Stay visible so cars, pedestrians, and all other road users can see you. Invest in a bright coloured top or jacket, wear gloves with reflective areas, or use light-up running armbands. You might even want to use a running headtorch or cross-body chest torch to make you more visible and help you light the path ahead. LuTuo has a great product that is charged up by USB and has 3 light settings.
3 Run facing incoming traffic
Did you know that the correct way to run on the road is to run facing incoming traffic? This gives motorists more time to see you, and allows you more time to make decisions about moving. If you are running on a blind corner or over a hill, always use the pavement or grass verge. Never underestimate how little time motorists have to see you.
4 Be aware of your surroundings
At this time of year, it’s even more important that you know your surroundings. Know which bits are well lit and which areas to avoid, where there will be more pedestrians, which roads are busiest and which junctions and crossings are more dangerous.
5 Reconsider your headphones
We love running with music too, but it’s not always a practical choice. If you’re running in the dark or in an unfamiliar area, run without headphones. It’s simply the safest choice. Without headphones you’ll have more awareness of what’s going on around you and be able to make faster decisions.
6 Run with a friend
There are so many benefits to running with a friend or a running club – safety is a big one! There’s safety in numbers, and you’ll be able to push each other to run a bit harder too. Should anything happen, the other person can call for help or keep morale high.
7 Charge up your phone
Always run with your phone – and make sure it’s fully charged before you leave the house. We hope you’ll never have to call for help or update your ETA, but it would be sod’s law to have 3% battery if you did!
8 Tell someone about your route
Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back home. If you’re single or live alone, ask a few friends to be in a running WhatsApp group so you can fill this role for each other.
9 Smart use of Strava
Strava’s summit beacon lets you share running data with friends so they can monitor your progress in real time. And remember to create a privacy zone so your exact start location isn’t visible on your Strava maps.
10 Carry running ID
It’s a great idea to carry some sort of ID when you go for a run. Make sure this includes an emergency contact and any medical information. Run ID is one of the best and very simple to use.
Stay safe and enjoy your Autumn and Winter runs!