Running is a great exercise, but sometimes fitting it into our daily routine is difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline. If you were given the option, you'd probably prefer to run when there's broad daylight.
However, sometimes the only time you can find is at night because of reasons like your work schedule, or maybe because of the season. No matter what the reason, it's still better than no run at all.
It’s a given that you should always take caution when running, but even more when you’re doing it at night. Here are some tips that will keep you safe when running at night
#1 Tell Someone Of Your Plans
Before you go running at night, make sure you let someone know, preferably someone in your home. Tell them your route and what time they should expect you to return. If you live alone, let a friend know through a message. At least someone knows you’re out and in case something happens, they’ll have a trace.
#2 Run And Rotate Familiar Routes
Safety should be your top priority and night time is not the best time to explore new routes. Ideally, you should have a couple of different routes established already so that you won’t run the place every night.
This avoids any creepers from tracking you. Bad guys are always on the lookout for easy targets, and you don’t want that to be you. You should also make sure you’re running in a well-lit place.
It’s not just so others can see you, but also so you can see where you’re going. Avoid dark and sketchy areas, as well as technical terrain to prevent accidents and unfortunate encounters.
#3 Make Yourself Visible
As we mentioned earlier, you want to be visible when you run at night. Wear whites or easy to spot colors like yellow and orange, or something neon.
You can find a lot of running gear that has reflective strips or panels on them. This allows others, especially drivers, spot you easily. Another way you can make yourself visible is by wearing a head torch or by carrying a small flashlight.
It functions as a light for your and as an indicator for others that you are there. There is also reflective gear that you can wear to accentuate the knees, feet, and other moving parts.
#4 Find A Running Partner
We know it's not always possible, but if you can, run with a friend. As the old saying goes, "there's safety in numbers." There are also many running groups all throughout the country that you join. It’ll help you connect with like-minded people and maybe find you a running partner or group.
If you have a dog, you can also go running together. You’re hitting two stones with one with this one. Taking them for a walk or run, and having them as your safety company.
#5 Lose The Headphones
We know music helps you keep a steady pace, but when running at night, safety is more important. Turning off your music allows you to focus more on your surroundings.
It allows you to hear incoming cars, trains, or other vehicles, as well as people. Though you can listen with one earbud off and with volume down, it’s still better if it’s completely off.
You’re already down on your sense of sight by running in the dark, so keeping your ears open is crucial. You need to be more alert and focused than usual.
#6 Bring Some Identification And A Phone
Should something unlikely happen to you, an ID with information like emergency contacts and medical information can help others try to help you.
If not an ID, consider getting a running bracelet that shows your name, emergency information, and blood type. Your phone will also come in handy if you find yourself in a pinch.
Have important contacts on speed dial in case of emergencies, and make sure passcode setting is off. Aside from using it communicate, you can also use it to keep track of your route and possibly, change route when necessary.
#7 Go Hands-Free
It’s always best to run with your hands-free. Since you have to have your phone on you, make sure you have an armbands for it, so your hands are free. You can also use a belt for other small things.
Of course, you shouldn't be bringing so much when you run. If you have no other plans, all you’ll need to bring is your phone, ID, and pepper spray, which are things you can wear.
#8 Run Against The Traffic
You can't assume that vehicles can see you, so it's better that you see them by running against traffic. It also allows you to see potential danger and you'll have a better chance of being defensive.
On the other hand, if you run in the same direction as the traffic, you'll often turn back to see what's coming. That increases your risk for accidents.
#9 Carry Pepper Spray
For your safety and security, carry your pepper spray with you at all times. Have it somewhere easy to access, like your front pocket or a lanyard around your neck. But we’re still hoping that you won’t be in a situation where you’ll need it.
#10 Trust Your Gut
If you feel like there’s something fishy on your regular route, don’t ignore it. Take off to a busier area where people can see you. You also shouldn't let anyone try to approach you.
Many times, bad guys will try to start a conversation to get closer to you. Don't stop or slow down. Instead, find a busy area to run to. Being around people will hopefully throw them off guard.
You should also avoid being too close to parked vans or other vehicles, especially if you don’t usually see them on your route.
Health and fitness are crucial, but safety should always come first. This applies to any run, but even more when you’re running in the dark of night. Visibility at night is not the same as during the day.
To prevent accidents, you cannot run the same like you would when it’s bright. You should also take extra precaution to avoid other danger like accidents and criminal activity. Did you find this helpful? If you have any questions or concerns, use the comment section below.