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How To Respond If Attacked On The Run

Photos: Courtesy of Krav Maga Worldwide

For so many runners, there is nothing better than leaving behind the confines of the gym or the track and going for a run out in the open. It can feel like you’re invincible when you’re hitting your stride on the trails or pounding the pavement around your neighborhood. But the sobering reality is that runners, particularly solo female runners, are vulnerable to an assault. While you can stay safer by running in the daylight, listening to music at a lower volume and constantly scanning your surroundings, no measure can keep you 100% protected. But you can give yourself an extra edge by knowing what to do during an attack.

You are most susceptible to an ambush known as the “bear hug” attack (shown above). During this type of assault, an aggressor will grab you tightly, likely from behind, and you could quickly become immobilized with the attacker’s arms around you. This move is particularly dangerous because the attacker could easily lift, drag or slam you onto the ground. According to the self-defense training program Krav Maga Worldwide, it is crucial to counter the attack and fight back immediately with a three-pronged approach:

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Alison Barsalona

Alison Barsalona

Alison Barsalona started running when her best friend decided they should join the cross-country team in high school. After trading running for the equestrian team in college, she found her way back to the treadmill when she realized her gym subscribed to Bravo and Food Network. She's lived in six states and always finds the best routes to run in each new town as soon as she moves in (right after finding the best pizza place). A new mom, she now lives in Delaware and is busy perfecting the art of the jogging stroller.