Sound Off: Female Runners Share Their Self-Defense Strategies

Self-defense strategies are not new conversation amongst female runners. Over the past few years, safety while running has been a major hot-button topic. So when Los Angeles-based writer Amanda Deibert posed a question on Twitter Wednesday afternoon what other women do to stay safe, it wasn’t all that surprising that the tweet went viral.

“One of my mom groups has a thread that is just women listing and recommending which kind of protection they take when them when they go out running (Ie. pepper spray, alarm necklaces, whistles, etc) in case you wondered what being a woman is like,” she wrote; followed by a second tweet: “Also, women: what do you use when you go out running.”

Within two days the tweet has collected nearly 2,000 comments, with women all over the world sharing their best safety tips and what they take with them on walks, jogs, hikes, and runs.

For some, their self-defense strategies aren’t so much about what they carry as opposed to the precautions they take before heading out for a workout.

While others make sure they have plenty of options on hand.

Some bring alarms.

Others bring safety tech gadgets like a RunAngel wristband, which emits a loud, high-pitch sound and alerts friends and family when activated.

And yes, some even bring knives and guns.

[Editor’s note: We highly encourage checking with your local police or looking into the laws and regulations in your area; for some, the above self-defense keychain could be construed as brass knuckles, which are illegal in some areas.]

But by far the most common reply? Bringing a dog.

Or multiple dogs.

Seriously, there were so many good doggos.

A few even brought additional reinforcements.

Some women shared feeling totally safe where they run.

While others have been practicing self-defense for years.

A few awesome supportive guys even chimed in.

Mostly, a similar sentiment was shared: It’s sad that we have to think about things like self-defense strategies while we’re out there running, but it’s real. And being aware and prepared is a reality that pays dividends in keeping us all safe to keep enjoying something we love to do.


Editor’s note: At Women’s Running, we are committed to helping readers feel safe and empowered on each and every run. This coverage is made possible by sponsorship from Sabre.