As winter approaches and the evenings get darker, often the only time schedules permit a run is either early in the morning or late at night. If you find you have to run during the darker hours of the day, no need to fret, simply follows these rules for a safe and enjoyable outdoor exercise experience.
1. Stay aware
By far the most important rule when it comes to running in the dark, being aware of your surroundings is key to running outdoors at any time of day, but especially at night. Staying aware of what’s in front and behind you means you’ll drastically reduce the risks of getting yourself in a dangerous situation; be it an attack, a car accident, or tripping over an obstacle.
2. Ditch the headphones
This ties in with the first rule, as much as it might be disappointing to hear, running with headphones at night simply isn’t a good idea. As your vision will be drastically impaired in the dark, you’ll need your ears to guide you. If you have to run with headphones in, make sure the volume is low enough to hear oncoming traffic, cyclists and other pedestrians.
3. Run a familiar, well-populated route
The night is not the time to explore that remote trail or plan a new route. Stick with the paths you’ve ran many times before to avoid the potential of getting lost and stick to well-lit and busier areas. It’s also not a good idea to run the same route every night either. Instead, establish the routes you’re comfortable running and switch it up frequently to keep it random.
4. Get the right gear for the job
Investing in equipment for night-time runs can make a huge difference when it comes to staying safe in the dark. Reflective clothing is essential in order to keep you visible. Proviz offer a wide range of reflective, breathable running clothing that will keep you noticeable at night, they also offer a 20% discount for students, apprentices and 16-26-year-olds with Youth Discount.
5. Bring your phone
Even if you prefer staying off the grid when running, use a phone strap to keep your phone with you at night to keep you safe. A phone can prove useful for utilising special tracking apps or to call someone when you’re in a pinch.
6. Run with someone
If you can and don’t mind running with people, find a buddy or running group to go with during the darker hours of the day. By running with a partner, you’ll have an extra set of eyes and ears to be on the lookout for anything strange. Plus, partnering up with someone can be a great motivation to become a better runner.