There are a number of steps that women can take to minimise the risks to their personal safety while running.
The best bet is to try to avoid running on your own in the dark. If possible, run with a friend, join a local running club, or arrange to run in daylight. This will ensure that you have a more relaxing workout than if you are on edge and on your own.
Other steps you can take include:
- carry a mobile phone, so that you can call for help if you need it; you can also carry an inexpensive rape alarm (mace and pepper sprays are not legal in the UK);
- avoid remote and unlit areas, and keep away from trees, bushes and tow-paths;
- vary your routine, so that you don’t always run the same route at a predictable time;
- avoid using headphones while running; listening to music makes it more difficult to hear strangers coming up behind you (as well as making you more vulnerable to cars, dogs, roller-bladers etc);
- make sure someone knows where you are going and when you are expected back; make sure they know what to do if you don’t return in good time;
- don’t wear expensive jewellery which might attract unwelcome attention.