Every runner has thought about the “what if” in their mind when they step outside. New stories regularly air about runners whose lives are taken too soon because they were targeted. You already know that you have a passion for running, and the off-chance incident isn’t going to stop you from logging miles, but how do you protect yourself and help eliminate the possibility of something going wrong? Here are my 5 picks for must-own runner safety gear items that will help you work out with confidence and ease your mind.
Why Self-Defense For Runners Is Important
I started running in 2012, as a woman who didn’t have a group of friends to run with. I quickly fell in love with the sport of running and how it made me feel. A few miles into my run, I get a euphoric runner’s high. That led to me training for longer periods of time outside by myself – always chasing that next big PR.
However, as a woman in my early twenties at the time, I was scared about the possibility that I could become the target of malicious intent. I was already a bigger target because I was running alone, but that, combined with the area where we lived, the length of time running and listening to music – I knew I had to take some precautions.
Personal safety is different for everyone. A product that brings one person comfort may not be necessary for the next person. There are a wide variety of products to pick from that can help give you a boost of confidence and keep you off of the treadmill.
Investing in your personal safety is something you hope that you’ll never have the need to use, but you’ll never regret that you made that investment if the time ever comes when you need to use it. Below are some of my favorite runner safety gear pieces that give me peace of mind.
SABRE – The Trusted Name in Self-Defense Gear
Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of brand choices when it comes to investing in your personal defense gear. I turn to the folks at SABRE because they make trusted products that are tested and they have over 40 years in the field. Shop the SABRE Amazon Store for all of their latest personal safety gear.
They strive to educate and empower their customers with powerful products and the knowledge they need to use them. That’s why they are highly recommended by me below. They’re a great resource and have innovative products with the consumer in mind. I officially own all of the SABBRE products recommended below because I can trust them.
Related: How To Start Running At Any Size
5 Must-Own Runner Safety Gear Pieces
Wear Reflective Running Clothes
Wearing reflective clothing is always important, but even more so as fall weather approaches. Early morning runs and evening runs are going to be darker. Reflective materials are passive, which means they react to other forms of light, including headlights on cars. Because of this, think about the size and amount of reflective you don during your runs.
Reflective Running Gloves are great because they don’t add bulk or layers for warmth. LED Safety Light Clips can be placed anywhere on your body, where you can clip it onto your clothes. Or a Reflective Running Vest gives you the most amount of reflective material without adding bulk.
I like owning a reflective water hydration vest where I can store other personal safety items & run without a water bottle. That’s a double win for me. Clip safety lights onto your vest and personal alarms. Plus, you don’t need to run with a water bottle.
Pepper Gel & Spray (The Non-Negotiable Of Runner Safety Gear Items)
I’m always surprised when I meet a runner that doesn’t carry a pepper spray or gel. I love the small and discreet SABRE Runner Pepper Gel With Live GPS Tracking. It’s designed specifically for runners and has a 12-foot range with no wind block. I know runners often worry about using pepper products, but it only affects your target. It also comes with live GPS tracking that pairs with your smartphone.
SABRE provides free texts with location map links that are sent to contacts when the spray is used & updates using free LIVE GPS tracking, enabling them to track you until safe. The app is free on your iOS or Android smartphone. Whether it’s a person or an unexpected animal attack, don’t be caught without pepper gel.
If you’re looking for a keychain option, try SABRE RED Pepper Spray Keychain With Quick Release Key Ring. It’s an alternative option to the gel above. The quick release allows the user to separate the spray from the keyring. It has a 10-foot radius. Keep one on your key ring as well. When I’m driving to our local park for a run, I know I’m most distracted when I’m getting in or out of my vehicle. Having the pepper spray on my key ring is a great go-to self-defense item when I’m most likely to be targeted.
A Runner ID Tag
Don’t make the mistake of running without your ID. If you ever have a medical emergency on your run, you’ll want to have a Runner ID Shoe Tag or Runner ID Bracelet on you. One of my BRFs (best running friends) was in a situation where she had a completely unexpected seizure on her run when she was alone. It was so scary to hear about, but her husband was notified immediately – all thanks to running with an ID. You can purchase ID tags that are bracelets or slides for your shoe laces. Some even have tracking devices built in that notify a loved one if you ever stop running for more than five minutes.
A Personal Alarm (The No-Brainer Of Runner Safety Gear)
How can you deter your attacker before they attack? With a SABRE Personal Alarm Key Ring. You want to alert other people of the situation that you’re in while deterring your attacker. At 120 dB, the dual siren alarm helps call for assistance in an emergency. It’s audible up to 600 feet (185 m) away and could make all the difference. I attach the personal alarm to my hydration vest when I run. It’s a very user-friendly product that can be reused again and again. Plus, this particular SABRE alarm has a flashlight built in for convenience.
A Runner Tracking App
Of all these runner safety gear items, this one could potentially cost you nothing. Check out your smartphone app store and download a GPS tracking app. Or share your location with an emergency contact. Most runners use their phones while they’re running. Usually, an app lets you create a phone tree that alerts loved ones if you stop moving. It’s an easy solution to add on top of your personal defense items above. Lastly, include an ICE contact in your phone – In Case of Emergency – first line help recognizes that’s the contact you want them to notify if an emergency were to take place.