Be Seen: Tips For Running in the Dark

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.

BE VISIBLE

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.

About Jonathan

Jonathan is a distance runner, cyclist and aspiring triathlete. With no formal training or running background Jonathan emerged on the local running scene in the spring of 2010 at the age of 27. Quick to get involved with local runners and pick up guidance, Jonathan saw efficient returns on his efforts and began to constantly ramp up training. With quick improvements, Jonathan was soon running sub 3:00 marathons and helping others get fit and fast. Jonathan has become heavily involved in the lower Hudson Valley running scene and founded Hudson Valley Running in 2013 to help other aspiring athletes get started and improve. Jonathan is currently an active member of Rockland Road Runners, New York Road Runners, USATF, Outer Loop Running Club, and 50 States Marathon Club.