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Running and Jogging Safety

By Robert Vahle

If you run or jog outside for cardiovascular fitness, each time you run, you may be exposing yourself to criminal elements; criminals who may see a female jogger as easy prey. Even macho men have been attacked or robbed while jogging alone. Some criminals have figured out that a jogger may be too winded to put up a fight, thus, easy pickings for robbery and/or rape.

Here are some tips that will make you a harder target for hecklers, muggers and rapist:

  1. This is the one what works best for me. Have a friend or family member follow behind you in a car. This keeps you from being vulnerable. If the situation gets ugly hop in the car and leave.
    This will also help to keep other cars from hitting you.

  2. Avoid running/jogging at night.

  3. Definitely avoid Friday and Saturday nights. There are far too many drunken young men driving around just looking for trouble.

  4. If practical, jog in the early morning. Most scumbags, deadbeats, and slugs, will still be in bed.

  5. Keep your eyes open for the idiot who thinks only motorist have the right to the road. This idiot may try to force his/her opinion using his/her car. Make sure you run/jog facing oncoming traffic.

  6. Avoid jogging past construction sites. Many of the laborers at construction sites have criminal histories. I personally know of two incidents where a woman has been savagely attacked while jogging past an area of construction.

  7. The best tip, in my opinion, is to jog with a partner. Better yet three or more persons jogging together will sway a pathological person to look elsewhere.

  8. Carry a flashlight and a cell phone while running. Yes, the extra weight is awkward, but your safety is more important.

  9. Jog with a visible daypack or hip pack. I do not advocate carrying a gun. But there are hip packs shaped for handguns. (Get the idea?) This may make a potential perpetrator wonder what is in the pack. I will let the "guns-for-self-defense" gurus write about this subject.

  10. When jogging in parks stay in the open areas. Avoid people with large dogs. Some morons think that they have the right to let their dogs do whatever while in a park.

  11. (While jogging) if you see people ahead who look like trouble or you get a bad feeling, swallow your pride and take a safe detour, or turn around and retrace your course.

  12. (While jogging) should someone try to get you to stop, such as asking for a light (come on - people know joggers don't smoke!). Just make brief eye contact and keep jogging. Not making eye contact is a gesture of fear to the criminal mind.

  13. (While jogging) be aware of hiding places and blind corners.

  14. The neighborhoods of the lower socioeconomic status seem to have the most problem dogs. Should a dog run after you, stop. I know this sounds crazy, but running excites dogs. Stop and slowly turn your back on the dog; slowly walk away. Hopefully you can walk out of the dog's roving range. Should the dog attack, hit the ground and go into the "turtle position". Use a tight fetal position, knees under your body protecting your chest and belly; your head tucked down to protect your face; your shoulders scrunched to protect your neck. Fighting back will only stimulate the dog. Of course if the dog is an ankle biter, then kick the shit out of it.

  15. Wearing a radio head set is not a safe practice. You would be drowning out the sound of someone running behind you, or someone trying to warn you of impending danger. Remember to always be alert

To reiterate: jog with a friend or two. You may run at a slower pace but your safety always comes first.

Please e-mail comments to robtvahle@cst.net

Here are some suggestions from Rory

#1 don't wear walkman should be #1 thing not to do it is SOOO easy to sneak up on you

#2 pepper based dog spay is good for repelling aggressive dogs , is small & lite to carry ,,of course it is illeagle in most places to spay people with it (that may not be a consideration when you are being accosted by some lowlife with a knife )

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