With the fall season in full swing and winter fast approaching, many runners will need to make the shift to running in the dark. Whether you choose to run early morning or late evening, here are some essential tips for running in the dark.
It’s difficult for drivers to see runners in the dark, so don’t make it harder on them by wearing dark clothing. Make sure to wear bright colors, preferably with reflective material or tape so that you stand out as you run.
OPEN YOUR EYES
No matter how many precautions you take to keep yourself safe, always pay attention to what’s around you. If something does not seem right, trust your instincts and move away from the possible danger quickly. It’s better to be a little over cautious than seriously injured or dead.
OPEN YOUR EARS
Some tunes on your run are great to keep you going, but not in the dark. When running in the dark, you need to rely on all your senses, not just your sight. Leave the music at home so you can hear any potential dangers.
RUN AGAINST TRAFFIC
The proper place to run is on the left side of the road, facing traffic. Think about it. It is far easier to jump out of the way of an oncoming car if you can see the car coming at you. You can’t avoid what you can’t see.
OBEY ALL TRAFFIC RULES
During those quiet summer mornings it can be fun to pretend you’re a car and run in the middle of the road and cruise through intersections. Don’t even think about it when it’s dark. Assume that cars can’t see you and signal to drivers whenever possible.
STAY ON WELL LIT PATHS
Rethink your run route if you’re used to running on trails or dark back roads. Although it’s nice and peaceful while running on trails, you set yourself up as an easy target for someone to attack you. Stick to busier roads and well lit areas. It may be a bit boring, but at least you’re safer.