Safely Running through the Night
It is official, as of last weekend, day light savings time has ended, which translates into days being brighter early in the morning and darker earlier in the afternoon/evening. For those of you runners out there that are used to running after work or just at night in general, things just got a little bit more complex. Instead of sunsets and bright skies through your evening runs, now it is just, well, dark. Don’t get us wrong, it can be beautiful and serene – a full moon is gorgeous as well as stars lighting up the sky – but there are also other considerations to take into account when running in the dark.
Many runners love nighttime running, but before you head out the door be sure to be prepared. Remember it is harder for you see to where you are going at night and it is equally as hard for others to see you. Thus if you are going to enjoy a nighttime stroll it is best to suit up accordingly. Luckily nighttime attire is better than ever before. The choices of reflective gear are numerous and chic whether you choose to wear a vest or a “glowing” shirt, these clothes will enable all those around you to see you clearly. However, a word of caution, just because you have the gear does not mean you are off the hook. We, as runners, are still responsible for our safety, so pay close attention to the cars and people around you. A handy tip is to leave the iPod at home for these runs, which will enable you to be more in tune with the people on the road.
Now that people can see you, you need to see the road. Again multiple options exist today from a headlamp to a light on your vest. Regardless of your preference in sighting gear, they all do a wonderful job in lighting your way. Additionally, if you able, it is best to run with a friend giving you two sets of eyes and ears! Running stores and clubs often have nighttime runs allowing you a convenient opportunity to make friends and run with a fellow athlete. Another simple safety tip is to choose your course wisely. Some areas may be fine for running during the day, but might not be the best choice at night. For example, a trail is always a blast, but you may be more likely to trip because you are unable to see everything at your feet while running in the pitch black. Another factor to consider, some streets are busier than others. Choose wisely. Look for roads that are wide, well lit, and have lower speed limits.
Ultimately, nighttime running is a whole nother ball game, but it can also be a whole lot of fun. Be smart, be safe, and have a good time. It will be light at night again before we know it!