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Exploring Solo Female Running & Anxiety

Empowering Female Runners to Conquer Anxiety and Thrive on the Roads and Trails

“Are you a solo female runner who navigates the roads or trails alone, grappling with anxiety before or during your run?

I’m Rob, the owner of Battle Fit, with extensive experience in trail and ultra running.

Today, I’m thrilled to delve into some of the challenges faced by female runners, joined by my friend Abi, a passionate runner and budding personal trainer, to explore the anxieties commonly experienced by solo female runners and share some personal stories and experiences of Abi.”

So What Can Cause Anxiety For Solo Female Runners?

“Today, alongside Abi, we’re delving into the challenges of solo running, particularly from a female perspective, where the hurdles often manifest as heightened anxiety and worry. While some obstacles are universal, others are distinctly felt by female runners.

Let’s explore some of the common issues to offer support and solutions.

Lack of Motivation:

For many embarking on their fitness journey, solo running can be daunting due to a lack of motivation. Picture you have the two sides of your conscious mind, one side saying I need to do this and the other is saying, I just can’t be bothered. This can spiral into self doubt and may lead to horrible feelings of anxiety. Have you ever felt like this?

Female running in park

Not Knowing Where to Go:

The excitement of donning sports gear and new trainers can quickly fade when faced with the overwhelming task of planning a running route. Factors like distance, elevation, terrain, and safety considerations can make choosing a route feel daunting.

Injury and Safety:

Injury and safety concerns loom large for solo runners, especially on trails where help may be miles away. Coping with unplanned injuries in remote areas presents a unique challenge. I mean what do you do if you do get injured and you are a solo female runner?

Personal Safety:

Female runners, in particular, grapple with personal safety anxieties when running alone, whether it’s on secluded trails or during nighttime runs in local parks. Let’s explore solutions and hear firsthand experiences from Abi.”

Meet Abi

Female bootcamp attendee exercising

“From my school days, I’ve always been passionate about sports, and as I grew older, I transitioned to the gym, hitting it five days a week. Initially a cardio enthusiast, I later embraced weight training also.

Running has however always been an integral part of my fitness routine, blending seamlessly with weight training in what I like to call hybrid training.

Starting with 5k runs, I gradually increased my distance, pushing myself further each time. As my journey progressed, I began focusing on speed, incorporating running intervals into my training regimen and tacking various terrains here in Helston, Cornwall my home town.

I love the trails and the scenic environments but if I’m honest it hasn’t always been easy”

Running in Fear: Navigating Anxiety as a Female Runner

“As a female runner, I often find myself struggling with anxiety, especially when running in secluded areas where I feel vulnerable, particularly around strangers and men. One such instance occurred while running down the Penrose National Trust footpath. I sensed an unsettling feeling and glanced over my shoulder to see a middle-aged man a bit behind me. Anxiety flooded in, and I started jogging faster, gripped with concern and panic that I was being followed. With each step, my fear escalated until I was sprinting alone. However, the fear of encountering the person again on my route back left me paralyzed with fear.

Reflecting on my experiences, I’ve realized that I feel much more at ease when running on roads with people around, rather than in isolated trail settings. This anxiety often limits my running routes and detracts from the enjoyment of running for females like myself.”

Solutions for Safer and More Enjoyable Running Experiences

“In light of Abi’s experience and the anxieties discussed, it’s clear that addressing personal safety is paramount. Running in pairs or groups provides a sense of security, adhering to the principle of safety in numbers.

As solo runners especialy female runners, we can also take precautions by informing others about our running plans, including the route, timing, and expected return. Carrying a mobile phone and considering the use of safety devices like alarms can further enhance safety measures.

Running with a partner or in a group not only enhances personal safety but also addresses other anxieties such as lack of motivation and uncertainty about running routes. Being inspired by a running buddy or a running group can boost motivation, while planning routes together ensures clarity and confidence in navigation. Additionally, running with others reduces the risk of injuries and enhances overall safety.

Battle Fit Run N Trails promotion picture

If you can relate to any of these concerns and find yourself battling anxiety when preparing or indeed when running then Battle Fit launches our new Run N Trails program tailored to optimise running fitness.

Led by professional and experienced Instructors & run leaders, participants explore the scenic trails of Cornwall in the company of like-minded enthusiasts.

Pre-planned routes prioritise safety, ensuring a rewarding and secure running experience.

Ready to tackle your running anxieties head-on? Join our run and trails program for a safer, more enjoyable experience!

Limited spots available, so book now to secure your spot: #RunningAdventure #LimitedSpaces”

Empowerment and Closing Thoughts

“We invite you to share your experiences as a solo female runner and the strategies you employ to overcome anxieties and prioritise safety on the roads or trails.

Your insights could make a world of difference to fellow female runners facing similar challenges, fostering a supportive community where we uplift and empower one another.

In closing, let’s prioritize safety and ensure that every running experience is positive and enriching.

If you ever feel alone or need support, remember that you’re never truly alone. Reach out to us and join our community, where a friend is always by your side, cheering you on every step of the way.”

Young girl walking care free through a field with a beautiful smile

1 thought on “Exploring Solo Female Running & Anxiety”

  1. Barbara Taylor Holmes

    I can relate to all of these points. I’m a female runner. I’m older and run slow. I run alone as everyone I know runs faster than me.

    I used to trail run with a running buddy, but now that I run alone I don’t for fear of falling and getting injured with no one (or the ‘wrong’ person) coming to help me. On the few occasions I run in the lanes I’m lit up like a Christmas tree with flashing lights & bands and I’m still scared of getting knocked down because of the blind bends and Cornish walls restricting the view of drivers and runners. So I run mainly at Penrose from the Boating Lake end.

    I feel ok when there are plenty of people about but uncomfortable when it’s more deserted. I’m always glancing behind me to see if someone’s there. I’m especially wary if I can’t see anyone else on the track and a lone man is coming towards me; after he’s passed I keep checking incase he’s turned around to follow me. I do have a personal attack alarm which I hold in my hand as I run; but still am nervous as I worry no-one will be near enough to hear it.

    It is a sad view on today’s society when women (and men & children) cannot go about their daily life and feel comfortable or safe.

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