Whether it’s due to timing or temperatures, sometimes it is necessary to run at night. So, if you need a short break from your treadmill, keep these night time running tips in mind before you head out:
1. Wear Reflective Gear
It may seem like a no-brainer, but you need to have your reflective gear on and ready to go before you leave to run. While neon tank tops and shorts are eye-catching during the day, the colors dull in the dim light of night.
You don’t have to buy top-of-the-line reflective gear to be safe. A simple visibility vest or arm and ankle reflective bands can help drivers spot you and keep you both safe.
2. Take A Well-Lit Route
Even if it isn’t your favorite route, you will want to stick to well-lit roads during your night time runs. While you may have lessened the danger of being struck by an unwary driver, there is still the danger of being attacked, especially for women running alone. Sticking to lit areas will make those with ill-intentions think twice before trying anything.
3. Light It Up
If trails are the only way you’ll run outside, you can light up your path in a few ways. You can use a headlamp, flashlight with specialized running grip, light clips, or knuckle lights that you can place on your belt or elsewhere.
Important to remember: Flashlights are a night running game changer, but they will do you no good if they die during your run and leave you stranded in the dark in a potentially dangerous place. Always carry a backup set of batteries, even if you have just changed them.
4. Keep It Short
No, you don’t have to cut your run short; just your route. While you plot your well-lit course, plan on making loops instead of ranging far away from your home. Lap running may not be the most exciting way to run, but if you find yourself uncomfortable, it will be easier for you to reach your home while lap running rather than knowing you are still 6 miles from your house.
5. Focus On Surroundings
The release of thoughts and stress is one of the major charms of running. However, zoning out during an evening run is dangerous.
Keep an eye on your shadowed path as potholes and uneven sidewalks can catch and trip you more easily at night. Also, if you run with headphones usually, leave one ear free from your entertainment. You’ll want to react in time to any problem, be it a loose growling dog or a biker without reflectors, and you’ll need to hear them to act appropriately.
6. Run With Others
It can be hard to get a consistent group together to run. But even one other person is another set of ears and another point of light to help keep the both of you safe.
If you don’t know anyone to run with, there are a few options to find a running buddy. You can try your local running store, which will usually have a running group attached. If you want a smaller group or just one running partner, online meet-up boards can help facilitate finding an exercise partner. Just be sure to meet them in the daylight first.
Once you have these steps down, you can leave home knowing you have taken all precautions and have fun with it!