Protect Yourself!

I ran across this article on and I wanted to repost it here. I know many of you are runners and that usually means running outside, sometimes alone. Unfortunately, we do not live in a kind world and I know we all (even me) fall victim to feeling safe in our own neighborhoods and becoming complacent with our safety! Usually when we let our guard down is when something happens.


3 best self-defense moves for women

Are there times a woman should not fight back?
If someone’s grabbing your purse, let him have it. If they’re trying to take your car, let them have it.
When should I fight back?
If an attacker is trying to get you into a car, fight back loudly with every bit of strength and courage you have, says Lori Hartman Gervasi, author of Fight Like a Girl … and Win: Defense Decisions for Women, and a black belt self-defense expert trained in American karate. “The odds of surviving go way down once you’re in a car or secluded location,” she says. Most attackers are looking for an easy victim, says Sifu Toy, creator of the self-defense DVD Armed and Fashioned: “The more you fight back, the more likely it is that he’ll give up and run away.”

Should I carry pepper spray?
Gervasi likes pepper spray because it provides a way to fight back without getting too close. “You don’t even have to touch the guy,” she says. But it’s useless if it’s buried in your purse. She recommends that you carry keys in one hand, pepper spray in the other, and your cell phone in an easy-to-reach pocket. “If a threatening person comes too close or begins to attack, quickly cock the pepper spray into the ready position, aim, and spray the attacker in the face,” Gervasi says.

What else can I do?
Use whatever you have—purse, shoes, rings on your fingers—to fight back, Toy says. If you’re kicking, go low and hard. A shot to the groin may cause pain, but it’s hard to do and you may lose your balance or give the attacker a foot to grab onto. When you make a fist, wrap your thumb around so it rests beneath the first and second knuckles; this creates a flat fist (no thumb sticking up or tucked under your fingers) that can inflict more damage and helps prevent broken knuckles.

What precautions do you take when out alone?

My Dad taught me to always look! Whenever I am out I am ALWAYS looking around and noticing my surroundings. If I see something suspicious I always go the other way…no questions asked. I would rather be safe than sorry. When I go out on runs alone I always carry a mace tube. It is a hands-free  model made for runners and clips around your hand so you don’t have to hold onto it. You simple have it ready and all you have to do is slip your thumb under the nozel and spray. I also wear a Spibelt that carries my cell phone. If I do wear an IPOD I make sure that I can still hear what is going on around me and lastly I LOOK confident. I make eye contact with everyone and I try to run with a swagger…does that make sense. I am NOT going down without a fight and I try to portray that aura of confidence with my mannerisms. Silly…maybe…but like I said better to be safe than sorry!


23 Responses

  1. Will have to try some of these on the hubs when he gets home 🙂

  2. Great tips!! Thanks Kelly!!

  3. These are great tips…such scary scenarios, but something that we all need to think about and remember (unfortunately)!

  4. Thanks for posting this! Im always thinking about this kind of stuff when I run, especially during the week becuase its dark by the time I get out there. Im a worrier as it is, and then there was a stabbing in the house next door, which I never would have known about had I not heard the entire police investigation going on outside my bedroom window. I SWEAR Im in a safe neighborhood, it was just a random family argument. But ever since Ive been super on edge when Im out.

    • You should look into the hand-free mace tube I carry when I run. It makes me feel safer. I got it at Academy (which is a sporting good store…not sure if you have those) But it was cheap…like $10 and totally worth the peace of mind it brings!

  5. Great post! I took tai kwon do as a kid/teenager and totally agree how important it is that we arm ourselves with knowledge of self defense (and some pointy elbows)!

  6. This is a great post! Very important for even if your out walking in the dark or by yourself – I’ve become extremely paranoid from past experiences and living in poor locations – ugh…I crave simplicity…but yah, I find it’s especially important to consider nowadays with technology — how many of us go around with earphones in our ears or an ipod on!!! Decreased awareness and can’t hear anything…
    Thanks for checking out my blog girl – I’m going to add you to my Roll if you don’t mind ?? – love your profile pic too !!

  7. Great tips!

    I’m usually not alone, I have my protector aka Boomer. She is really mean when it comes to strangers.

  8. Great tips!

    My parents were always CRAZY about me knowing this kind of stuff. I started running when I was like 11 years old, and they were always worried. I even took a few self-defense classes – I think making eye contact with passes is huge, as well as acting confident and staying aware. I don’t run with music if I run in the dark, either – which is usually when I run.

    It helps to have a big scary dog as a running partner, too. 😉

  9. All this information is so interesting!! Shamefully- if I go for a long run, I’m usually blasting the ipod- which I know I shouldn’t because I should pay attention to my surroundings… But I definitely attempt to run with a “swagger” haha- All this info is super helpful for runners though, I’m happy you posted it:)

  10. Nice tips! I recently did a winter safety tip post on my blog, and the only part I didn’t include was the self defense, I mentioned it, but didn’t have nice pictures like you! I ALWAYS make eye contact with people, and let them know they don’t want to try anything… I’ve been chased before… by a teenage kid on a bike… I was able to calmly pick up the pace and outrun the kid to the next busy street… I try not to rely too much on speed though, and run with a partner.

  11. hehe, i am thinking of sandra bullock in miss congeniality with those moves 😉 i don’t run with an ipod anymore so i can hear everything around me, make eye contact with everyone… i try to avoid the dark, but i’ll stay in well-lit areas. always good to think about this sort of thing!

  12. hopefully I’ll NEVER come across the situation where I have to do this, but let me practice them on my brother first….

  13. Another good tip I read a long time ago is to vary your route. In other words if you run to the bridge and back everyday, the weirdo watching you will pick up on that and know when and where to wait for you. Also, if you do not become accustomed to your route you will tend to be more aware. I am not saying go run somewhere unfamiliar and end up lost, but just to vary your routine enough to make it hard to predict.

  14. Thanks for sharing. This is always a worthwhile topic. I’ve been training in karate for about 2 1/2 years and self defense is a regular topic. The one thing that is always emphasized is “don’t be afraid to fight dirty”. If it comes down to you vs. him, it’d better be you that wins. The “tender” spots – groin, shins, throat, eyes – are all fair game if someone attacks you. Cell phones make great self-defense weapons!

    Shannon jokes about Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality but those moves are actually very effective. The solarplex, instep, nose, and groin are all great target points if you need to disable someone.

  15. Running safety is so important so thanks for posting this!! I always make sure to run in an area with a lot of people. Running alone in the dark is never a good idea, no matter where you are…

    – Beth @

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