Safe Running, Outside workouts

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Exercising Outdoors: Safety for Runners and other Outside Athletes

From material issued by the Road Runners Club of America.

This information is aimed at all runners and outside exercisers, but has special admonitions for college students who are away from family members who would notice ones comings and goings.

A Few Rules, Stay Safe


When we go to college, we revel in the fact that we come and go, not accountable to anyone. The good and the bad of it: no one knows where we are, or when we come and go.

  • Tell Others about RoutesBe sure friends, roommates or and family know about your most-likely, or favorite routes. Either tell, or leave notes about your estimated return time. Stick to that and encourage the recipient to call police if you are not back in a reasonable amount of time after your ETA.

  • Don't Wear HeadsetsYou need to stay aware of your surroundings. If yo can't hear, you are losing one of your most important senses.

  • Carry a Cell Phone You could be hurt or in trouble, or you might spot someone needing help.

  • Carry Pepper Spray One you carry when running or walking, ,and one on your key chain for other times!

  • Maintain Low Key Appearance: No Jewelry Don't be flashy. You can attract attention from the wrong people.

  • Know the Area Know the streets, stores, call boxes for emergency calls.

  • Carry ID Either carry state I.D., or write your name, address and phone number on the inside sole of your running shoes. Carry medical information.

  • Stay out of Questionable Areas Run away from parked cars and bushes. Stay clear of unlit streets, unpopulated areas, overgrown trails.

  • Run with a Buddy Neighbor, friend, relative, or your dog! My dog lets me know if someone is around us. He knows before I do. I pay attention to his signals. A dog is not always possible in college, but there are plenty of other runners around to keep you company.

  • Alter Your Running or Walking Patterns Stick to familiar areas when running, but try to alter your routine. Someone could be keeping tabs on your schedule. Many runners are rigid about their schedules.

  • Go against the Traffic

  • Watch for followers Some one can easily follow you back to your dorm or apartment.

  • Ignore Verbal Harassment

  • Always Trust Your Intuition - "gut feeling"

  • At Night Wear Reflective Clothing

  • Become Super-Observant: Play Memory Games Practice remembering license numbers, bumper stickers, or identifying characteristics of strangers. Besides aiding in your own safety efforts, it will help you identify potentially stressful situations for others.

  • Call for Help


    Road Runners Club of America (RRCA)

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    Safety on Campus

    Identity Theft

    Safe Running, Outdoor Workouts

    APPLY HERE: Admissions Sites for ALL U.S. Public Colleges and Universities

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