Violence Prevention & Self-Defence Training Blog

The SAFE International Self Defence Blog addresses Violence Prevention topics & self-defence for the women, schools, companies and families.

Smart Running

Last summer I experienced a little scare after I went for a morning jog. Halfway through my run, I noticed a middle aged man was following me on his bicycle. I started to panic because I was in an empty area where there were barely any stores or restaurants open. I started running faster, heading towards a residential area. I ran over to the closest house and rang the doorbell. As the door started to open, the man on the bicycle quickly sped off. I explained to a woman who’s Sunday morning I had interrupted what had just happened. She was extremely understanding and helpful, and she even let me use her home phone to call my sister and ask for a ride home.

The encounter set me back from jogging a few weeks. I started to miss my daily jogs and decided not to let what had happened control my life. I heard of Safe International from a colleague, and decided to sign up for some classes.

I wanted to share some of what I learned, what I like to call “running smart tips”:


  • Avoid unpopulated areas such as parks, bike trails and deserted tracks or non-residential street

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Know who is ahead of you and behind you and be aware of the nearest people or populated areas.

  • Follow your intuition. If an area feels suspicious, turn back.

  • Run in familiar areas.

  • Run with a partner whenever possible.

  • Run widely around places where attackers might hide, such as parked vans, trucks and bushes.

  • Ignore verbal harassment.

  • Carry identification.

  • If you are running with headphones, earphones, iPods or other listening devices while walking or jogging, you should make sure that you have spatial and situational awareness.

Now that summer is here, more people will opt to exercise outdoors in the sun. Enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air but keep the guidelines above on your mind the next time you head out for a run.

Maya A.

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Sunday, 23 February 2020
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