10 simple tips for running in the dark
Waving goodbye to summer also means waving goodbye to those beautiful, bright sunny mornings and long, light evenings. But darkness shouldn’t deter you from running in the great outdoors – you just need to take some extra steps as you clock up those miles. Here are ten of them, courtesy of Team GP:
1. Buddy up
Whether it’s your other half, best friend or a colleague, running as a duo will help to keep you both safe when it’s dark out there… or think about joining a running club. Having a running partner is also great for motivation...“Just one more mile!”
2. Bring doggo along
Pooches make perfect running buddies, but bear in mind their breed will dictate how long they like to run for. If you don’t have a furry friend of your own, you could ask to borrow a friend’s or neighbour's, or sign up to Borrow My Doggy.
3. Turn it down
If you need music to motivate you, run with just one headphone in so you’re still well aware of your surroundings, especially the traffic. It’s also a good idea to keep the volume down – at a level where you can sing along (if you’re that way inclined!), but also hear the passing cars.
4. Run where it’s light
It might be nice and peaceful running on trails and through woods, but unless you’re a very confident runner, save these routes for when it’s light. In the dark, stick to well-lit tracks to reduce the risk of tripping or stumbling.
5. Stay visible
Wearing light-coloured or hi-viz clothing is a must, so invest in some decent reflective running gear and make yourself extra visible with reflective belts, bands, laces and gloves. And don’t forget: you need to be visible from the front and the back so that both directions of traffic can see you.
6. Be safe, be seen
Reflective running gear is all well and good, but you need to be able to see your path ahead too. Light up your route with GP’s Multi-Purpose Head Torch; the Red LED light will help your eyes adjust to the darkness and preserve your night vision. It will help others see you better too – and if you’re an experienced runner and are up to tackling those trail runs after dark, it’s the perfect running buddy.
7. Power up
It’s important to keep your phone with you when running, especially in the dark, so if you get lost, injure yourself or just feel unsure, you can call home. Listening to music and tracking performance on your running app is another plus but both will sap your phone’s battery, so top it up with our lightweight PowerBank Mobile Charger.
8. Run on the right
The general rule of thumb is that you should run towards traffic. But if you’re on a route with right-hand bends – and it’s impossible to see oncoming vehicles – it might be safer to cross the road in advance so you can get a glimpse of what’s ahead.
9. Tell someone where you’re going
If no one is able to join you on a run but you’re keen to hit the road, let someone know where you’re going (even if it’s just a quick text), what route you’re taking, and what time to expect you back.
10. Trust your gut
At any point during your run, if you start to feel uncomfortable, go with your instinct and head to a place that is well-lit or turn back and go home..
If you’re a year-round outdoor runner and have some safety tips of your own to share, let us know what they are on our Facebook page!