It’s that time of year again where it’s super dark in the morning and getting darker earlier and earlier in the evening. I know a lot of people retreat indoors for their workouts once the daylight hours are shorter. Over the years I have grown more
comfortable tolerable about running in the dark. It still freaks me out and I think of all the “what if” scenarios. I think it is possible to run in the dark safely. You just need to be smart and alert.
- Wear reflective clothing and/or a headlamp, blinking light. You want to be seen by cars. You also want to see where you are going. The last thing you want is a sprained (or worse) ankle. I got an upgrade of a headlamp last year for Christmas and was amazed at the brightness compared to my old one. Definitely one of my ‘must haves’ when running in the dark.
- Wear ID. I wear my RoadID for every run and now even when we hike. It’s vital for emergency sake when you can’t speak for yourself.
- Buddy up. If possible meet up with a friend. There’s safety in numbers.
- Enjoy the silence. Leave the ear buds at home. Even if you only have one bud in, it’s still a distraction. Listen to the music of your footfalls instead!
- Stick to well lit areas. Now is not the time to explore a country road with no sidewalks or street lights.
- Bring your phone. I carry my phone in my SPIBelt with no problems. In addition to having access to a phone if needed, it can also be used as a way to track you. Last year, Ron did that to me (unbeknownst to me) when I met up with a new running buddy for the first time. When I got home from the run, I started to tell him about our route when he cut me off and said “Yeah, I know.” He knew our exact route just by logging into “track my iphone.” Pretty cool but also creepy!
- Switch your route. Don’t do the same route at the same time every day. Try to be unpredictable.
Most importantly, please use common sense. If you don’t have common sense, then stay home.
What are your tips for running in the dark?