It’s winter. Not only is it cold, but it gets light later and gets dark earlier. Unless you are on the treadmill or able to run in the middle of the day, you are going to be running some part of your runs in the dark. And by dark, I mean dusk, dawn, a cloudy day, or a rainy day. That’s right, people, you need to think about visibility pretty much anytime it’s not a sunny day. Maybe you don’t need your flashing headlamp, but dressing in all black is probably not the smartest option. That’s why you should join Patty, April, and myself to discuss running safely in the dark for Tuesdays on the Run this week.
1. Wear bright colored and reflective gear. Unless you are running someplace where there is no chance of being hit by a car or a bicycle (AKA not on the street or a paved trail), you need to be visible. Period.
2. If you are running at night or in the early morning, headlamps, knuckle lights, and clip on flashers are your friends. Not only do you want to be able to see where you are running, but you also want to be seen. This means putting something on your back as well as your front.
3. Run against traffic, or better yet, on the sidewalk.
4. Don’t run with headphones on. Your visual cues are impaired by the dark. You don’t want to not hear a car, a bike, or an attacker.
5. Run in populated and well-lit areas. If you are running alone, this is essential. Nighttime is not the time to take advantage of the paved trails. Just don’t do it.
6. Make sure someone knows your planned route. Oh, and stick to that route.
7. Run with a whistle. I know some suggest pepper spray or mace, but too frequently things like that go wrong.
8. Run with a phone. There are so many options out there now for carrying one that you really have no excuse for not.
9. If your “spidey senses” are tell you something isn’t right, listen to them. Trust your intuition.
10. Don’t run alone. No, really. Find a running group like MRTT or a running store that offers group runs. There truly is safety in numbers. And if you truly have to run alone, see #4.
I have only run in true dark once in my life: Ragnar DC. And let me tell you, Ragnar has serious requirements to keep you safe. But I’ve run as the sun was rising (ok, not often) and I run when the sun is setting, so these are the tips I follow for those runs. And after barely seeing a runner completely dressing black on a rainy day, I will never run in all black again.
[Tweet “Running in the dark? Here are some tips to keep you safe on the run! #fitfluential #runchat #runnersafety”]
What are your tips? I’m sure that there are things I’m not thinking of!
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10 thoughts on “TOTR: Running in the dark”
This is great advice. You’re absolutely right – running the fog can be really dangerous too! I need to invest in a head lamp and some more reflective clothing. It always worries me when I run on a trail at night and see people wearing dark clothes and listening to music. We’ve gotta be safe out there!
Great tips! I used to run in the dark all the time when my boys were little. It was the only way to get a run in before I left for work!
I run in the dark all the time. Ragnar really got me to up my game with safety – I try to remember my reflective vest and headlamp. Plus, driving to spinning in the dark made me realize how hard it is to see people running in the dark.
I haven’t thought that much about being visible in the rain. I’ll have to think about that. And maybe go shopping for fun running clothes. 🙂
I just ordered this clip on alarm that sounds when you pull it off of your clothes in case of attack. (http://www.containerstore.com/shop/stockingStuffers?productId=10036349&N=62523&Nao=60) It is backordered, but think it is a great idea, even for those mid-afternoon runs.
Ragnar was the only time I ever ran at night either! Love the pic. Great tips
When I first got my driver’s license, my mother told me to drive like I was invisible to other drivers, because there’s alway a chance someone won’t see you. I took this to heart when I started running as well. Day or night, if run as if I’m invisible to drivers.
I also have a pair of the super reflective Phase-X from Skora 🙂
Great tips! I hardly ever run in the dark, but when I do, I wear my headlamp and bright clothes. I love the obnoxious neon ones anyway, so I’m set. No matter what, though, I always let my husband know my route. You can share your location on Google (not public but to specific people), and my husband and I do that just in case we can’t call or whatever if something happens.
During the summer I’m usually out the door by 5am, so running in the dark isn’t new to me. I’ve got all of the safety gear and it still freaks me out!
I just recently started running at night. I have to say at first it was a little nerve racking and I wasn’t too sure of the safety aspect of it. But, running with my Hubby, the Mini Me and also with our running club friends on a variety of night runs got me to like it. I actually enjoy it now!
As someone who commutes by car in the dark most days, it blows my mind how many runners and walkers are out there with no reflective gear and all dressed in dark colors! It’s terrifying when I come right up on one before seeing them! And #10 is pretty much what I’d have to do to feel comfortable running in the true dark!