Running In the Dark

running in the darkAhhh, fall weather is upon us. Some might say it’s the perfect running weather.

But the days are shorter.

If you’re an early morning runner, that means it’s still dark when your feet hit the pavement. And if you’re an evening runner, the sun may have set before you even get off of work. No matter what time of day, depending on where you run, the dark can be, well, a little scary.

Here are some tips to help you feel safe when running in the dark.

Run with friends

There is safety in numbers. And by the way, you’re not limited to the two-legged variety. Take your dog out for a run. If you don’t have a dog, offer to take your neighbor’s dog. You’ll have a great running buddy and one who will be ready to settle in for a proper nap when you head off to work.

Run without tunes or podcasts

Especially in the wee hours, it’s best to be aware of your surroundings, with all senses on high alert. That’s a little difficult with your tunes blasting. If you must have music, keep the volume down and one ear bud out.

Run in a familiar area

I run in my neighborhood several times a week in the early morning hours before the sun is up, so I thought nothing of it when I was traveling recently and planned to maintain my early morning running routine. That is, until I got out on to the unfamiliar streets, made all the more intimidating because it was still dark. I was smart enough to have invited a friend to run with me, but it was still a little scary; in fact, I cut the run short and finished it on the hotel treadmill. Knowing your neighborhood makes a big difference.

Run with friends; wear reflective gear and headlamp
Wear a headlamp

You’ll appreciate it when you turn onto a street where the lights have burned out or have already been turned off for the daytime hours. And although you should be running in a familiar area, if you’re not, you’ll be grateful for the lighted path ahead of you.

Wear reflective gear

While all of your senses are on alert, you want to be sure early morning drivers can see you. There are many comfortable vests and accessories that help increase your visibility in the dark.

No matter what time of year, early morning is still my favorite time to run. What’s your favorite? What advice do you have for running in the dark?

Author: Shelley English

Shelley is a wife, mom and executive assistant who loves to spend the rest of her time running and writing.

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