NORFOLK, Va. - After a few disturbing stories about women being attacked while out running, we wanted to get another look at ways you can protect yourself when you're out in these early morning and late night dark hours.
Sometimes before the sun comes up or long after its down is the only time you're able to get a workout in.
Ideally, you should run and walk outside in the daylight, but that doesn't always work.
"If you're an avid runner, you want to run! You'll do it when it's convienient and it's not always convenient for you to run during the day," says Officer Jo Ann Hughes with the Norfolk Police Department. "So if you are that person that’s going to run in those hours, just try to be safe and do it safely and protect yourself."
There are a few things to remember that may seem like common sense but its important to hear them again.
"The number one rule is to be aware of your surroundings be tuned in," says Ann Hupp, owner of Mettle Events and a running expert.
One thing that will help you stay focused? Not wearing headphones.
"You can't hear anything if your music is blasting in your ears," says Hupp. "If you want to listen to music, run in the middle of the day. Don’t run in the darkness of morning or at night. You just really need to hear whats going on around you."
Before you leave for your workout, make sure to tell someone where you're going, what time you're leaving and what time you're expected to be back.
When you're out by yourself, make sure you have your cell phone on you and be prepared for anything.
"If you're running and that hair on the back of your neck starts to stand up or you think someone might be following me, I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable, pull your keys out and put a couple between your fingers now you’ve got a weapon," says Officer Hughes
Police also recommend staying where you're familiar.
"It's not a time to go exploring," says Hughes. "Stay off the roads and paths that you're not familiar with.
Also, make sure to wear bright colors or reflectors especially if you're running near a roadway to maintain visibility.