One of the reasons I love running is because I am so free spirited. I love exploring new routes, stumbling upon gorgeous views, and seeing how much ground I can cover. However, I have finally accepted that it’s important to prioritize safety, especially because I run alone so often. Maybe I’ve finally grown up, or maybe I really am starting to turn into my mother! It’s becoming far too frequent to hear about runners getting robbed, or worse, injured by people on their runs, and I, for one, don’t want to be a statistic. I have put together a list of some safety tips to help you become safer on your runs.
Road ID App
Road ID is a company that you may be familiar with if you’ve been running for awhile. Road ID has a line of bracelets that you can customize to include your name, emergency contact phone numbers, and any medical issues or allergies. For a long time this bracelet was one of the best tools on the market to stay safe; if you were to become injured and found on a run, medical personnel would at least know who to contact. But now, Road ID has taken safety one step further with their app. You can set the app to send a text message to up to five people when you have begun a run, and the people you choose to send the message to will receive a link in which they can track your location. You can also set a stationary alert. If you become stationary for five minutes you will get a notification, and if you do not clear the notification within one minute another text will go out to the five people you have selected. It gives me great peace of mind knowing that I have a couple people watching my back on my runs, even if they aren’t in my immediate vicinity. The only downside I have discovered so far is that the app uses up quite a bit of battery, especially if used in conjunction with another app like Runkeeper. I was able to get nine miles in with both apps running and my phone battery decreased to about 20%. (Note: I am not affiliated with Road ID in any way.)
iPhone feature – Medical ID
For those of you that are iPhone users, your phone has a built-in safety feature that I highly recommend everyone setting up. This feature is called Medical ID. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were in need of medical assistance but weren’t with anyone who knew what kinds of medication you take, if you had allergies to any medications, or who you would want to contact in case of an emergency? Everyone has pass codes on their phones, which makes it even more difficult to contact friends or family members if needed. The iPhone has come up with a solution to this problem, and it is pure genius. (And just one of the reasons I am an iPhone user and don’t have an Android – but that’s a whole different blog post!) Go to Health, that built-in app with the heart that you thought you would never use.
Go to Medical ID in the bottom right corner of the Health app. From here you can fill out your personal information such as date of birth, allergies, medications, and in case of emergency people. That’s literally all there is to it! When the phone is locked, swipe right to get to your “try again” passcode page and click Emergency in the lower left hand corner.
Once you have selected Emergency you can click Medical ID in the lower left hand corner.
This can literally save your life, especially if you do have allergies or take specific prescription medications. Again, I highly recommend setting this up if you do have an iPhone. If you are a Droid user I’m honestly not sure if your phone has a similar feature. Please comment below if Droids have a feature similar to this and I’ll be happy to add it to this post.
When I run on long runs I carry items in something, whether it is a simple plastic bag or even a fanny pack. At the bare minimum I always carry my phone with me. On runs that are longer or that I am running in an unfamiliar area I will carry my health insurance card as well as my debit card. The last thing I want to do is to be stranded after making a wrong turn and either need food and water or a cab ride home. I have luckily not encountered needing either my debit card or health insurance card, but again it is nice to know I have those items with me. Just in case.