3 Self Defense Tips For Runners

This last week I took a short intro self defense demonstration class.  This stemmed from an incident that happened in my town with a runner on the greenway that I frequent. I then asked a large group of runners if they had ever heard of one of their own being attacked on the run and every single one said yes.

I would like to point out two sides:

-You shouldn’t live life afraid. Running is something we love to do and shouldn’t let someone scare us out of what we enjoy.

-Being attacked could happen anytime and anywhere. It happens multiple times a day, every day.

Now don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why people are constantly telling me to be careful, run in groups, don’t run with headphones, just run in the gym, etc. It’s not that we want to be rebels. It’s not that we love putting ourselves at risk. It is because we love breathing fresh air, hearing our footsteps hit the pavement, and the feeling of a free run.

This self defense class was eye opening and honestly I couldn’t sleep that night. On my daily freeing, life’s great runs, I put myself at risk of murder, rape, abduction, and any other life threatening scary moment.

Here are 3 self defense tips I learned from this class:

1. Carry a Punch Knife

Common answers when asked what you would carry for self defense on the road were pepper spray or a key.  What I don’t think we realize is once we shoot the pepper spray we are going to ingest the mist too.  Also, let’s be honest, no one has ever been hurt by a car key.  These punch knifes fit in a case on your waist band.  With a loop for your finger you will find that you have control, a sledge hammer punch will provide the strength, and trust me, these knives will hurt your attacker a lot more than your key.

2. Kick to the groin

If a man pulls a gun on you while running, most likely he won’t shoot you. Why?  He wants your ring, your money, pleasure…just something first. 100% hand over the items. Then give it your all and fight or run. If no gun, fight girl.  While we all think we can just run if an attacker comes at us, a nice kick to the groin will give you a head start. Throw in a strong finger dab into his eyes if your inner animal is coming out. And run as fast as you can.

3. Know this could happen to YOU

On my trail run just the other day I came up on some hunters. In that moment, my heart was in my stomach. One turned around with a large gun in his hand once he heard my footsteps.  I know they were on their way to the field to hunt but in that split second a thought of I could be shot crossed my mind.  Regardless of their purpose out there, I felt helpless in the middle of that trail.  I was alone while there were two of them, my phone was zipped in my pocket, my long hair that about hits my butt is easy for grabbing, and well, they had guns.

My point is, we never think bad things will happen to us.

If you choose to run alone, please let someone know where you are going, when you start, and when you finish.  It was recommended you take 4-6 months of self defense but even just one class could save your life.

Thanks for reading,


5 thoughts on “3 Self Defense Tips For Runners

  1. Hi Audrey!
    This is a scary fact, but also so important to be aware of. I live in a state with lots of trees and woody areas. In past years I have gone running by myself, but I think I need to start being more attentive and careful especially since I am a female under 5 feet. Thank you for sharing your tips!

    ❤ Alana

  2. Good post Audrey. As a runner and a hunter, realize that most hunters are just normal people out there enjoying their day afield. No need to be afraid of us. (But I get it.)

  3. Just read this on Pete’s blog. Excellent post. I focus a lot with runners on safety and you bring up great points about running alone and music, etc. But the fact is we do run alone a lot and we do listen to music. The key is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. I love the idea of a self defense class. I really think I could benefit from having some assistance if I ever get into a scary situation.

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