Running in the dark does not have to be dangerous. What makes it seem more dangerous is not properly preparing to run in the dark.
In the winter months, morning runs are probably in the dark, and unfortunately, so are post-work runs. If daytime running isn’t an option during the week, you’re probably running outside in the dark.
I made a shortlist of the tips and tricks that I would use to make the switch. You know, from running after work to getting out of bed in the morning and braving the cold.
Mapmyrun posted an article called 5 Safety Tips for Running in the Dark. Read it, not only because I was mentioned in it, but because it has very useful tips!
Dark Morning Run Tips
- Use music (carefully) -Make sure the volume is low enough that you can hear traffic or someone coming up behind you. My personal philosophy is that I don’t want to be without my eyes and my ears – so if I’m running when it’s dark out, there’s no music in my ears.
- Get a buddy – There’s no better way to get out in the morning than with the accountability of someone else. Plus, misery loves company, especially when it’s quiet and dark out.
- Go to bed early – earlier you get your zzz’s the easier it is to wake up.
- Clothing – Lay out your running clothes right next to your bed. That way, you have no other option other than to step right over your running gear. You’ll have fewer excuses to put them on.
- Plan ahead – when you have a plan, you’re likely to stick to it.
- Tell someone where you’re going how long you’ll be out and when you expect to be back.
- Wear reflective gear as well as headlamps and blinking lights
- Find well-lit roads and bring a phone in case of emergencies.
Dark Night Run Tips
Running at night, in my opinion, is a bit more hectic and crazy because so many more cars are on the road. In the morning, at least most people are still asleep. At night, on the other hand, people are coming home from work and are usually a bit more in a rush to get home.
Here are some tips to make sure your night runs are safe.
- Wear bright colors. Nothing says unsafe like wearing dark colors. Be smart and wear colors that are reflective.
- Bring lights. Whether it’s a flashlight or something you’re wearing, it really pays to wear some lights.
- Tell someone where you’re going. Someone should know when to expect you back.
- Run in public places that are well-lit.
Post-work night runs are really good at helping unwind and destress. Keep the stress level low for everyone by wearing clothing that can be seen in the dark and letting at least one person know where you’re roughly going to be running.
I hope some of these little tricks help you get out the door when you’d rather be catching another few minutes of sleep. After work, when you don’t have to run or workout, you’ll be happy you got it out of the way!
Happy running and be sure to be visible during the darker hours.