Running is one of the most universally common forms of exercise. With a low barrier of entry, little required equipment, and the ability to be done virtually anywhere or at any time, it’s no wonder that it is such a popular activity. Sometimes, however, this means running in less than the brightest conditions outside or running at night.
Whether due to the changing seasons or time of year, a busy schedule, or the unpredictability of life, you may find yourself running in low visibility, or even prefer it. Here are a few tips and things to keep in mind to help keep you safe on your run.
Night Running Safety and Tips
The most important thing to remember when running, regardless of what time of day, is to stretch and to give your body time to warm up and cool down to decrease the risk of injury. You will also want to make sure your body is properly hydrated and ready to handle your run. Wearing shoes that fit properly will also help you run at your best and keep you moving.
When running at night or in low visibility, one easy way to run more safely is to up your visibility through bright, high-visibility clothing and reflective gear. This will help you stand out against the darkness and reflect the light of your surroundings, making you more visible, especially for passing vehicles. Running gear and apparel will often feature some reflective accents, but throwing on an additional reflective vest or a headlamp can make you stand out even more. And if you’re wanting to add some style into your high-vis ensemble, we would suggest a fun bright pair of running shoes, like the small-batch Henry Limelight, that will also only provide top-tier comfort and performance.
In addition to wearing hi-visibility clothing, another way to help yourself be better seen when running at night is to choose your route ahead of time. Choosing a route that is well-lit will not only make it easier for you to be seen by others on the road, but will also help you see the path ahead of you and any potential obstacles or hazards. Trying out a new route or one you’re unfamiliar with in the dark can present additional dangers, so running a route that you’re familiar with will also help make your run as safe as possible since you know what to expect.
What you bring with you and what you leave behind can also heavily impact the safety of your run. Bringing your phone should be essential for night runs. Your phone can serve as an additional light source, can help keep you on track if you happen to get lost, and can allow you to call for help if something were to happen. You do not want to bring headphones on a night run, however. With visibility already dampened, you want to keep your other senses uninhibited, especially your hearing.
As with any exercise, it is also important to remember to give your body time to rest and recover and not to push yourself too hard. You should enjoy your run and your fitness journey. Stay safe out there!