8 warmer miles this morning:

4 - 23 - 13

Vizi Pro Pink Saucony gear & my Kinvara 4’s – my favorites

  • Mile 1: 8:22
  • Mile 2: 8:07
  • Mile 3: 7:56
  • Mile 4: 7:44
  • Mile 5: 7:52
  • Mile 6: 7:47
  • Mile 7: 7:20
  • Mile 8: 7:18

I’m not training for anything in particular right now but it’s still a VERY good idea to mix up the paces on my runs. If you have the goal of getting faster or even just not moving backwards in your fitness level then mixing up the pace and distance of runs is extremely important. Your body is smarter than you think and adapts easily. For this reason when I am training I don’t run the same workouts on the same day of the week every single week for the entire duration of the training plan. I want to keep my body guessing. The exception to this is my long run which I usually do on Saturdays.

Now that I am back to early morning run mixing up my runs is even more important for safety reasons.

 

Early morning safety tips — DO NOT BE A PREDICTABLE TARGET.

  • I don’t leave my house at the same time every morning. I also NEVER post on social media that I am about to go for a run. Though you think it’s only your friends following you, if you have a public account, it could be anyone viewing what you are posting.
  • Right now I don’t have a concrete plan of how many miles I will run. This is follows the don’t be a predictable target rule of early morning running.
  • I don’t have a set route I take. My run every morning is different from the morning before. I never know what I will run, which means neither does a predator.
  • Let someone know what time you will be back. My husband knows what time I will be back, so if I am more than a couple of minutes late he knows something is off.
  • Say hi to every runner you pass. If God forbid something were to happen to you, it would be helpful if there was someone who could recount seeing you. Runners are typically good about remembering what mile of the run they saw someone else at {when runners are few and far between} and could give the police an estimated time of when they saw you.
  • I run in a well lit area, so I do not wear a reflective rest. I realize this may cause some of you to gasp, but the last thing I want to do is wear a headlamp and reflective vest and announce that I am a runner. I want to blend in to my surroundings. There are typically people awake from the night before at the hour I run, and more than once these people have not seemed like the safest people to be around. Steer clear of anyone or anything that gives you that funny feeling in your stomach. Don’t worry about if you are going to offend someone by turning around and running the other way. Your safety matters not if they may or may not be offended that you abruptly changed directions.
  • PAY ATTENTION. I don’t run with headphones often, but I can assure you the dark morning hours will never be a time I reach for them. Running with headphones while having your dog is also not a good idea. The dog, though maybe a good idea, isn’t a fool proof way of making sure you don’t get attacked. {I bring this up because I see a woman running a couple of times a week with her headphones on and her seemingly friendly dog by her side} Leave the headphones at home and keep your eyes and ears open. You would be surprised at all the peaceful noises you hear in the early morning hours that can keep you entertained. Save the headphones for the gym.
  • If you have a way to carry your cell phone, do so.
  • Mix up your pace. This is not only good for your running but again you aren’t a predictable target if you aren’t running the same 6 miles at the same 8 minute pace around the same loop around your house.
  • BE AWARE. If you are trying to blend in, like I am, you need to be extra aware of any cars that may pass you. Always run towards oncoming traffic, so you can see them. I don’t assume they seem me, as they would during the day. If I am running on the side of the street I will hop up to the sidewalk or grass to get out of their way. You are responsible for your own safety.

 

These are just a few of the tips I have for early morning safe running. Have a tip you would like to add?

 

Want to connect? You can find Mile Posts here —-

 

Live in the DC area? Consider volunteering at the Capital Challenge Race. I will be there volunteering and would love to meet you!!

Comments

  1. All great points! Thanks for these.

  2. Perfect post because after reading about your early morning runs I was going to ask if you had any safety tips! Great post as always, keep em coming :)

  3. Interesting and thanks for posting. I know it is weird but for whatever reason, I usually only wear a headlamp/reflective-ness in the evening if it is dark (usually winter) but in the morning, I don’t have much problem with it. I almost feel it is a little more normal (?) to see runners out at 5 am than at 9 pm. But I am interested in how you define a well-lit area, esp. if you change your route around. Again, I will go to my local park in the morning as it is getting light out and there are no lights there, but I would never go there at night.

  4. Rebecca R says:

    I really appreciate this post. Most of the “early morning/late at night safety tips” articles focus on how not to get hit by a car, lost, or other things of that nature … not “how not to get stolen.” For me the main deterrent for running outside (and the thing that makes me turn to the treadmill more often than the road) are THESE types of safety issues. I’m far more concerned about being assaulted than I am about being hit by a car. Thanks!!!

  5. Great tips!! Especially the part about changing it up.

    One thing that you didn’t mention that I do…I run during the daylight with headphones, usually with my phone in the pocket of my crops. I make sure my phone is on silent. My plan is that if I am kidnapped, I will get rid of my headphones as soon as possible and hopefully they won’t know that I have my phone at all!

    I think about this way too much, but it never hurts to be safe!

  6. I carry pepper spray (the kind that has a hand strap) in addition to all of the above. I, also, do not wear anything too reflective to draw attention to myself. With as little traffic as there is at that time of the morning, I’m much more worried about humans than cars.

  7. Thanks so much for this post. I’ve been wondering :) Still don’t know if I’m brave enough. Hate running worried/stressed – even more so than the blasted treadmill.

  8. Great reminders! Thanks Dorothy!

  9. I’ve also heard that despite it being the easiest thing for women to do with their hair while running, a pony tail is a really bad idea as it give predators something to grab you by.

  10. These are great safety tips! Especially the reminders about switching it up and not running the same route two days in a row or on the same days of the week, it’s easy to settle into a routine without even realizing it.

  11. Great tips, Dorothy. A few more to add: I’m a single runner and live alone – it sometimes feels paranoid but I leave a note with what I was wearing, general route I planned to run, and time I left. Worst case, my dog walker will find it mid-day (dog doesn’t run). I also bought a cheapie flip phone with pre-loaded minutes (don’t want to run with my smartphone). It’s compact, I can store numbers in it that I might not remember. And finally: IDENTIFICATION. Cannot stress it enough. When I lived in CA a runner in my group was hit in a hit-and-run in the early morning. They finally identified her by having Apple look up the serial number of her iPod (this was pre-iPhone days). (She died.) Get a RoadID and WEAR IT!

  12. I was hoping you would write about this :)

  13. Yep, definitely wear ID, especially if you have a condition like asthma or epilepsy. All it needs on it is an emergency contact number and details of your condition.
    I tend to greet each runner that passes anyway, but I never thought about them then being able to remember you later on and account for you. This is a good idea.

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  15. I agree with everything you said! All your tips for early running. I do my running in the late afternoon. I just enjoy watching the sunset during my runs. Same tips apply too. :)

    Great post. Thanks for sharing! :)

  16. All great points! I think a large reason that my passion for running has dwindled is from when I moved last August. It’s not in the best area (a couple domestic abuse arrests since I have lived there) and I’ve been too afraid to go out alone in the morning. I will take these into consideration and hopefully I can ‘get bit by the {running} bug’ again!

  17. Such great advice! Thanks!!! I need to be more aware when I go out for a run especially since I am probably an easy target

  18. Great tips! Do you carry pepper spray? I don’t, but sometimes wonder if I should…

  19. Thanks for all the tips and advice!! My early morning runs are often run with a friend but the same tips apply. I always carry my cell with me. I used it once to call my husband when I noticed a car repeatedly passing by me while out on a 5 mile run. Thankfully I was not too far from the house so my husband arrived quickly! I did call the non emergency number with his license number. You can NEVER be too careful.

  20. I feel safer running early in the morning (5:00 or so) than I do late at night. I also feel safer in residential areas than I do on a running path. I do most of the things you do as well, but the two different things I do are to run down the middle of the road (very residential area — I usually don’t see any cars on my route). I feel like that gives me better peripheral vision. I also agree about the road ID and I think running without headphones is really important.

    During early morning hours, I avoid parks and running paths. Parks because they tend to be poorly lit, and running paths because I worry that bad guys will target those, since they know where people will be out early in the morning.

    I do have to admit that I run a similar route almost every weekday morning — 2-3 miles to the track and then around the track. I guess maybe I should try to mix it up…

  21. These are all great tips. One thing I would add is that if you do have a smartphone and a way to carry it on your runs, I’d recommend getting the “Find My Friends” app. My husband and I both have it on our phones and it allows him to track my little “dot” as I run. I tell him the route I’m running and he can check on me periodically. I usually take my phone on long runs that take me further from my home or on early morning runs even if they are close to my home.

  22. Great tips! I think most of these apply any time you are out on a run by yourself!

  23. I really like your advice “don’t worry about if you’re going to offend someone.” I know it’s crazy, but if I’m running when it’s dark (either early morning or late at night), and see someone who creeps me out a little, I honestly worry about offending them or coming off as rude for changing my path abruptly and so sometimes I won’t do it. You’re so right, though. It’s funny when I think about coming off as RUDE when your SAFETY could potentially be at risk!!

  24. This is great advice. I usually don’t run in the dark because I’m terrified of it, but I usually worry most about getting hit by cars or chased by dogs. I use MapMyRun, and I have my course settings set so only friends can see it. I run the same days of the week, but the time usually varies, and I run on residential streets. I always carry my phone, and it has my information in it like name, age, etc.

  25. This is really good, you gave me the right answer. Thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. […] phone. Some additionally take an ID, pepper spray, and notify someone of their route. I found this great post about safety precautions when running as […]

  2. […] other things happening to runners – it is to women. Dorothy Beal has a couple of great posts here and here to help you. – Hydration / Fuel: you need to work just as hard to stay hydrated in winter, […]

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