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How to Handle Hecklers and Harassers While Running

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Updated August 13, 2013

Running outside can be pure bliss -- until some idiotic creep comes along and yells out an obnoxious "woo-hoo" or "hey baby!" as you run past him (or her). Dealing with the occasional obnoxious heckler is inevitable when you run outside, especially for female runners. Here's what to do if someone starts verbally harassing you on the run:

Keep running.

Don't stop and start screaming back at the heckler or flip him off. Although it may be tough to ignore him, it's better to keep your distance and continue moving.

Don't appear vulnerable.

When someone starts hurling derogatory comments at you, hold your head high and stay strong. If your harasser tries to stop you, be forceful. Tell him to back off and keep moving.

Run with a cell phone.

It's always smart to carry a phone with you, especially when running alone. If someone is verbally harassing you and you feel threatened, call the police. Give them a description of the harasser and where and when it happened.

Keep your run safe.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but don't run in isolated areas, deserted streets, or overgrown trails. Never run by yourself at night.

More: Safety Tips for Running

Don't wear headphones.

Although you should ignore heckler's comments, you need to hear them to know if you're in danger. If you absolutely must use your iPod on the run, just use one earbud or keep the volume low so you can still hear what's going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you'll be.

More: Can I Listen to Music on the Run?

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