Running at night
Although we are slowly clawing back the daylight from the darkness, it is still dark in the early hours of the morning and early evening. With this in mind, we just wanted to share a few pointers on how to help stay safe whilst running in the dark.
1. Be aware.
It’s easy to zone-out or contemplate what’s for dinner on a long run, but it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings as well. Simply being aware can be the difference between minutes or seconds of preventing an accident, especially in the dark when it becomes harder to distinguish objects from people.
2. Run a familiar route.
Tonight is not the time to explore that remote trail or plan a new route through the neighborhood. Stick with the paths you’ve ran a million times to the point where you’ve memorised every tree, corner and building along it.
3. Carry an ID on you.
Whether it’s a driver’s license in your pocket or an ID bracelet, it will prove useful if anyone need to identify you and contact loved ones should anything unfortunate ever happen.
4. Run against traffic.
Facing traffic as you run not only provides drivers a clear view of what’s ahead of them, but also gives you a visual of oncoming vehicles in case you need to make any last-minute manoeuvres. If possible, try avoiding rush hour times—the less cars you have to deal with the better. If you find headlights blinding, wear a cap or visor.
5. Run with a friend or join a running group.
As cliché as it may sound, safety is truly greater in numbers. Not only is it safer but it can also be more enjoyable to run with others who can also offer support, encouragement and motivation.
6. Bring a phone.
A mobile phone can prove useful for utilising special tracking apps and/or simply to call someone when you’re in a pinch. Luckily, many people tend to run with their phones, but if you’re the type who likes to stay off the grid while running, perhaps it’s wise to reconsider, at least for night running.
7. Ditch the headphones.
Or if you must listen to music, leave a single earbud in so the other ear can hear for oncoming cars, bikes, trains—and even people.
8. Wear reflective or brightly coloured clothing.
These days there’s plenty of neon, light-reflecting running apparel and shoes designed for the night-conscious runner. Wearing a headlamp also helps to light the way and works to alert vehicles of your presence before it’s too late.