Welcome to TFB’s Concealed Carry Corner, where we cover all sorts of topics on carrying firearms in every way as it pertains to everyday life. A few years ago, I covered the broad topic of concealed carrying while running, what sorts of dangers runners (and pedestrians, regardless of speed) could face, as well as various ways to carry a gun while jogging. In this week’s edition, I’ll focus more on what has worked for me and how my tactics for concealed carry for running has evolved.
Concealed Carry Topics @ TFB:
- Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying While Jogging
- Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying While Paddling
- Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying a Firearm While Boating
- Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying A Pistol While Cycling
CARRYING WHILE RUNNING: TACTICS
Drawing and shooting a gun in self defense should be a last resort, so having some preventative tactics might help from having to pull the trigger. Even if you do have to pull the trigger, being able to articulate as many details as possible may help you in the end, and having all of your senses available can help you do that.
I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t had any close calls with traffic, animals or assailants, but I’ve been vigilant. For those of you that listen to music while running, I suggest you leave one ear free to hear the sounds around you. Another consideration is to let your family know your route. Either by leaving them a highlighted map or by driving them on it so they know. In a worst-case scenario, the family would be able to show police where to start looking for you. On that same note, I do not recommend doing live mapping on social media, or even posting your route after the fact. This could make you a target on the street, or make your home a target for burglary while you’re out.
For rural runners like myself, keeping watch for wild animals is probably at the forefront, while two-legged predators are a secondary concern. Keep watch over your whole surrounding, especially while near wooded areas. Even though cougars, bears, and moose are still possible to see in the cities, urban runners primarily face vicious dogs and human assailants. For known problem dogs, I like to run on the opposite side of the road, that way if I have to spray or shoot, onlookers, nearby cameras, or blood trails can show you were giving the dog as much space as you could. When meeting aggressive dogs for the first time, assert yourself as more Alpha than the dog by firmly yelling at it to “GO HOME!” This will also alert people nearby who can witness the dog is off of its property.
With that, let’s take a look at my getup for responding to a self defense situation.
CARRYING WHILE RUNNING: MY WAY FOR THE HIGHWAY
Some people will look at the gear I carry and question adding so much weight, but each item serves a specific purpose, and the overall purpose of my running is to stay in shape and keep me healthy, so adding 18.5 ounces (+/-) is pretty negligible as long as it’s not working against me. I still use “hiking shorts” on my runs, and I can’t imagine switching to anything else for running. Sweatpants, sweatshorts, basketball shorts and running shorts and the pockets thereof don’t tend to carry extra weight well, but hiking shorts stay up on my waist and the pockets don’t flop around.
My current pair are made with a five inch inseam which keeeps the hems off of the knees, while being wide enough so as not to hinder the quadrilateral muscles in full swing. The hiking shorts I’m referencing have six pockets, but I only use the front four as they are laid out on the front of the panels rather than typical cargo shorts, so everything is within reach of each hand. Another advantage of hiking shorts is that you can add a belt if you’re shaving your waistline or if you’re one of those people that doesn’t have a butt.
I typically use my wife’s Ruger LCP in a pocket holster to keep the lowest profile of a firearm on me, but the deeper pockets of the hiking shorts would allow for larger firearms as well. I’ve carried my S&W 36 J frame, but the .380 ACP is so ballistically similar to .38 Special that the semi-auto platform wins out on speed and capacity. I’m not a stickler on those two firearms, it’s just what I have that fits that role. A Glock 43 and 42, SIG P365, S&W Shield, Springfield Armory Hellcat, or Taurus GX4 would work just as well in a pocket. Getting into the larger sub-compacts like the Glock 26 can also fit in the pocket, but may start to get on the heavier side for a pocket where a more traditional holster may suit it better. Micro .22LR pistols aren’t generally recommended for self defense, but it’s certainly better than nothing and they’ve been effective in some situations.
As previously mentioned, shooting your carry gun should be a last resort if a situation allows for less lethal methods first. To augment my firearm, I also carry pepper spray, a pocket knife and my phone. The pocket knife is certainly optional, but I’ve come to feel naked without a knife, even though it would be the least of my tools to respond to a self defense situation. The phone can naturally be of use whether you injure yourself or if someone else causes you injury, or is likely to.
Carrying while running presents a few new considerations and a renewed vigilance at a time when you’ll be more exhausted, so I hope I’ve helped spur on some thoughts on what and how you exercise your rights while exercising.
If you’re new to running and think this is all overkill, have a look at my previous article on carrying while jogging to see the various dangers runners can face. That article provides a few other options for carrying while running if my style doesn’t appeal to you. If you’ve been carrying while running, what gun did you decide on and how do you carry it? Have you had any close calls while running?