It's important for people to be aware of the dangers of running alone.

With another lockdown imposed, many people have taken up running after their gym has been forced to close, but as the days get darker, it’s important for people to be aware of the dangers of running alone.

As running groups are currently unable to meet and households are not allowed to mix, many people are running alone and for the most part enjoying the bliss of nature and fresh air.

However there are many dangers that runners must be aware of, especially during the winter months when the days are shorter.

Tia Sanders, 21, is a Nottingham Trent University student who began running over the summer of 2020 when she began the ‘Couch to 5K’ programme.

During the summer months Tia was running a few times each week, showing her boyfriend the route she would run so he knew where she was, but now it can be difficult for her to find a good time to run.

She said: “Sadly I think it’s natural now for young women to be concerned about going out alone when it’s dark, anything could happen and when you’re out running it’s not like you have anything to protect yourself with.

“I’ve never shared my route on social media, mostly because I don’t track my route and I don’t think anyone would find it very interesting.

“I think if you’re someone that does do that, regardless of your age and gender, then do be careful who you’re sharing it with, and maybe try to vary your route and the days you run, just for your own safety.”

Frankie Galton, 20, is also a student at Nottingham Trent, and started running as a form of exercise during lockdown as she was unable to go to the gym.

She said: “It was a great way to get out of the house, and it gave me some kind of routine and control over what I was doing.

“Now that I’m in Nottingham I do get a bit nervous running alone so just try and do it before dark as I don’t know the area very well.

“I use the Strava app and I think that’s a great way to track routes as it is only shown to people you let follow you.

“Have occasionally shared on Social media, but unless I was worried about someone in particular I wouldn’t hesitate to share online.”

Running clubs are currently unable to meet due to the lockdown restrictions, but usually they are a great way to get some exercise and make new friends.

Heather Thornley, 32, has been a member of the Redhill Road Runners in Nottingham for almost a decade and his picked up on a number of things over the years.

She said: “Stick to busier areas in the daytime, going to a local park and doing laps for example but will be largely populated.

“Tell someone where you intend to go and how long you intend to be out for, and check out and check back in after.

“Don’t stick to same time and same route every day, people can notice patterns, and take a phone with you in case you need rescuing, and maybe a little cash in case you need to jump on a bus.”

With night running Heather also suggests that people stick to well lit areas, and wear a chest/head lamp and something reflective to be seen by other pedestrians/cyclists and motorists.

Additionally Redhill Road Runner, Peter Pierre Henley, 47, says: “For much of the time during the pandemic (not right now) clubs were allowed to run in groups of up to 12 people, which is one of the many benefits of being in a club.

“Right now we can run with one other person, as a club member there is no shortage of people who are willing to join you for a run.
“Regardless of pace or distance, this is a great benefit for me as I struggle to motivate myself to run alone.”
Another Redhill Road Runner, Kerstine Herbert, 45, says: “I love running alone and prefer to stay off road and away from crowds, as I feel safer running around the fields near me than along main roads.
“It’s worthwhile paying for Strava as you can send a beacon to your partners phone so they can track you.” 

By Laycie Beck