Today kicks off Runner Safety Awareness Week, a time to continue to spark conversation and share preventive methods to keeping runners safe when they are out doing what they love.
Those who are interested in more discussion, activism, education, stories, and tips can check out The Run Collective, which is holding runner safety workshops and events in the tri-state area.
Runners elsewhere can also check out the Runner Alliance, which was started by Runner’s World magazine, Women’s Health magazine, Hoka One and Garmin.
Garmin does have a few safety features for all its running watches, giving female runners that extra peace of mind when they head out the door.
One of its most noted is Incident Detection & Assistance.
How To Use Incident Detection & Assistance for Garmin Watches
Garmin launches its Incident Detection & Assistance in January of 2019. First only available for the Garmin vivoactive Music 3, today this safety feature is available for all Garmin smartwatches.
Those with an iPhone know that their smartphone has an SOS feature that alerts 911 that they are in trouble. But this Garmin safety feature eliminates the need to fumble with a phone (especially if its tucked away in a running belt or armband) or to push a button.
It works by identifying when there is unusual pace or movement, alerting a list of pre-selected emergency contacts and provide them with the runner’s name and location.
It does this by tracking the runner using its LiveTrack feature (explained below) and using its sensors to determine if there is an impact.
In order to use Incident Detection & Assistance, the Garmin watch must first be connected to the Garmin Connect app via Bluetooth or have LTE service enabled on the watch. The GPS must also be abled on the watch. Lastly, the emergency contact number must be able to receive text messages and/or email.
To use this feature:
Open the Garmin Connect App
Select MORE on the bottom right or iOS and SELECT on the upper left for Android.
Go to Contacts and add emergency contacts.
This feature turns on automatically after adding in emergency contacts.
Hold the power button (top left) for 5 seconds to activate the assistance feature. The device beeps and sends the message after the five-second countdown is complete.
Forerunner 45/45S, 245/245 Music, 645 Music, 945, fenix 5 Plus series, fenix 6 series, and MARQ series:
To activate, hold down the top left button (power button) for approximately 7 seconds until the watch vibrates three times. This action will discreetly send a message with your real-time location to your preloaded emergency contacts.
Another option is to hold down the top left button for 2 seconds, scroll through the icons and select the Assistance icon
vivoactive 3 Music series:
To activate, hold down the button until the watch vibrates three times, then release the button. This action will discreetly send a message with your real-time location to your preloaded emergency contacts.
Legacy Saga and Hero Series, Venu, vivoactive 4/4S:
To activate, hold down the top right button until the watch vibrates three times, then release the button. This action will discreetly send a message with your real-time location to your preloaded emergency contacts.
Other Safety Feature: Garmin LiveTrack
The safety feature allows loved ones to track the runner so they know where they are at all times.
Called LiveTrack, it was created in 2013 and actually wasn’t intended for keeping runners safe. LiveTrack was created first for cyclists so that family members and friends could cheer them on during races.
The team at Garmin found that people were using it as a safety feature to let others know where they were and thought it would be beneficial to add this tech to its running watches.
LiveTrack is now available on all Garmin smartwatches.
How To Use LiveTrack
Open the Garmin Connect app
Go to the Menu
Select LiveTrack, consent and select on the device
Select Session Name
Toggle on Share Web Link and add recipients
Select Start LiveTrack
Tip: Turn on Auto Start to automatically start a LiveTrack each time you go for a run.
Just keep in mind that this feature requires a cell signal. If you lose service during the run it will alert contacts if in trouble with the last known location. The feature picks back up once your phone regains service.