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Training & advice

Running alone

Running in a group is safer than running alone. By being part of a group you are less likely to fall victim to attack or mishap but it is not always possible to run with other people and, rather than not run at all, you go out and run alone. To help keep you safe we have pulled together some top tips on how to avoid falling victim whilst running alone.

Be alert

You are more likely to stay safe if you see danger before it gets to you. We are told to look both ways when crossing the road but you should apply this rule at other times aswell. When you come to a junction where you are turning right you should also look to the left so that you are aware of any person or danger that will be behind you once you turn right. If a potential attacker sees you ahead and knows that you are unaware of him or her they could take the opportunity to chase you down but if you know they are there your awareness will be heightened so that you can react if they do decide to do anything untoward. By using your eyes and ears to observe and listen to all that is around you you are more able to react quickly if necessary and, if you are attacked, you will know where there is help. Be aware of cars as well as people. If you notice the same car drive past more than once you should be aware in case someone is following you.

Alter your routes and times of training

By sticking to the same route at the same time each day you are giving a potential attacker the chance to plan their attack. If you are a good runner you may naively think that you could outrun an attacker. You probably could but not if they surprise you. If you are predictable a potential attacker could suprise you before you have chance to change gear.

Project a confident image

Attackers will often choose a victim on the way they look and how they behave. If they look weak or timid or look lost and distracted they are more likely to be easy prey. If you look strong, confident, skilful and sure a potential attacker may well be put off and prefer to look for another victim. In order to project this image it is important that you work on your running technique as well as your strength and speed.

Trust your instincts

If you don't feel safe in a particular area or near a particular person then you may well not be and so you should move away quickly. If, for example, you have attracted the attention of another runner who has decided he or she would like to run with you and your gut reaction is that danger is present you should not be concerned with manners or etiquette but tell them that you don't want to run with them and to leave you alone. If they are harmless it will have taught them an important lesson that other runners don't know them 'from Adam' and so they can't expect to be welcomed along and if they are a potential attacker you are taking the lead in the power balance. If other people are around. let them know what is happening. By telling a passer-by that 'I don't know this person and he/she is following me' you may well deter the potential attacker from sticking around.

runsafer

We started this article by reminding you that running in a group is safer than running alone. By joining a club or a group you will benefit from safety in numbers as well as advice on how to be fitter, faster, stronger and more skilful. However, we realise that not everyone wants to run in a group and so we would like to finish this article by reminding you that running is a relatively safe activity and that all of the above is written, not to make you paranoid, but to remind you that by being organised, flexible and alert your running can be even safer still!

Happy and safe running!