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Running While Black -- Safety Tips for Running Outdoors

Before you head out for your next run or jog, make sure you take some precautions to avoid being targeted by potential assailants or racially profiled like Mr. Ahmaud Arbery. Unfortunately, African Americans and females have a higher chance of being attacked or even murdered while running and more so in an isolated areas. In light of the recent news of the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered while jogging in Georgia, I thought it was important to discuss some safety tips for runners and highlight some new gear that runners can use to keep them safe.

Here are 16 safety tips to consider to ensure you stay safe while running or jogging outdoors:

1). Never run alone at night or in an isolated area

2). Wear reflective clothing so drivers and other runners will be able to see you

3). Run against traffic to avoid traffic-related accidents

4). Always tell friends/family members where you will be running and when you expect to return home

5). Be aware of your surroundings at all times to avoid falling or tripping

6). Always run on well-traveled and well-lit roads and never take shortcuts through woods/trails

7). If you have a dog take your pooch out with you for some exercise

8). Run with a group or at least one other person

9). I recommend never wearing headphones to play loud music while you are running. A great playlist may really motivate you while you are running; however, this distraction is not worth your safety. Perpetrators specifically look for people who are distracted.

10). If listening to music is really important to you, wear only one wireless earpod in your ear. This way, you can hear what is going on in your surroundings with the opposite ear.

11). Always take your mobile phone and ensure it is fully charged before you go out on a run (check out the link below to view jogging shorts with hidden phone slots)

12). Remove the lock code from your phone before you go out on a run, to ensure you are able to make a call quickly

13). Always trust your instincts and cross the street or go in a different direction if someone looks suspicious

14). Vary your running routes

15). Stash your photo ID in your pocket just in case an emergency occurs and you are unable to speak

16). Always bring pepper spray or some other personal protection device and know how to use it confidently

In addition to these safety tips, here are some additional tools and links that you may find useful to help keep you safe while running outdoors. Remember, before you head outdoors to run or jog, use these tools, your common sense, and your intuition to avoid getting injured or hurt. Your health and safety are important!

Shield Self-Defense Video Clip - Self-Defense Moves You Should Know

Under Armour's Speed Pocket running shorts allow men to secure their phone quickly before heading out on a run.

Athleta's Mesh Me Up Stash Pocket running shorts for women have a side pocket with fitted lycra to keep your phone still while running or jogging.

The React Mobile™ panic button can help you get help fast. This app works by using GPS to allow your friends and family to track your location in real-time. Also, the panic button can be used to alert the police that you need help.

You can learn more about this app here React Mobile™ Sidekick Wearable Panic Button

Tiger Lady Self-Defense Claw – The TigerLady Claw is specially designed to wear on your dominant hand and works simply by forming a fist to activate the sharp claws.

You can order this small self-defense tool here Tiger Lady Claw.


Athleta. (2020, June 26). Mesh Me Up Stash Pocket Shorts. Retrieved from:

IDEAFIT. (2016). Safety Considerations for Outdoor Exercise. Retrieved from:

React Mobile™. (2018, August 28). React Mobile Sidekick Wearable Panic Button. Retrieved from:

Shield Women’s Self-Defense™. (2017, May 8). Self-Defense Moves You Should Know. [Video Clip]. Retrieved from:

TigerLady™. (2018, August 29). TigerLady Self-Defense Claw. Retrieved from:

Under Armour. (2020, June 26). Speed pocket. Retrieved from:

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