Crash Course: Self Defense for Runners With Rebecca Pacheco

January 25, 2013

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Does a busy schedule have you logging your running miles either early in the morning or late at night? Running in the dark is a great way to stay fit when you have a hectic schedule, but it also calls for increased safety measures. This isn't a call to hang up the running shoes by any means; we're just asking you to heighten your awareness.

How do you do that? Check out this video of STACK Yogi Rebecca Pacheco and "Black Belt Philosopher" Michael Weaver  as they detail martial arts defense tips for runners.

Whether you're running on the trails, neighborhood sidewalks, unfamiliar roads or the school track, safety should always be your number one priority. Beyond the tips Pacheco and Weaver offer in the video, here are some other important safety guidelines to follow on future nighttime runs.

Run against the traffic

Running on the roads can put you in a vulnerable position. Unless you're in Ireland (or another country where folks drive on the left), you should always run on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. It may seem counterintuitive, but it is safer because it allows oncoming drivers to see you with plenty of time to react. It also allows you to see oncoming traffic, instead of having it come up behind you.

Don't challenge cars to a race

News flash: cars are way quicker than you. If you stop at a red light, intersection or stop sign along with a vehicle, always let the car go first.

Carry identification

Keep your ID and some cash with you at all times. You can protect yourself even further by writing your name, address and blood type of the sole of your foot.

Trust your intuition

You might be able to add an extra mile or two by going through that creepy wooded area. But don't. Stay on familiar terrain. When you're in the dark, avoid any place that gives you an uneasy feeling.

Samantha Jones
- Samantha Jones is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned her bachelor's degree in communication and information sciences. Throughout her scholastic career,...
Samantha Jones
- Samantha Jones is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned her bachelor's degree in communication and information sciences. Throughout her scholastic career,...
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