While we can all agree we'd prefer to be running during the day in the magnificent sunshine, busy schedules and limited daylight hours often mean we can end up running far after nightfall in the low light of the evening or before work in the early morning.
Although it may seem daunting at first, don't let the darkness stop you from heading out - especially during those colder winter months! Stay alert, stay safe, and check out our list of top tips for braving the dark. And remember: If you don't feel comfortable running outside in the darkness, there's always the treadmill instead!
1. Avoid Loud Music
Although listening to your favourite running playlist can be a great way to stay motivated and push through those last few minutes of the run it can also be a distraction and keep you from taking note of what’s happening around you. This can mean you're less likely to be aware of oncoming cars, people and animals.
When listening to those great motivational tunes, why not use a low-volume setting on your running headphones to ensure you stay aware of what’s happening around you while still enjoying the melodies?
2. Stay Visible
Ensure you stay safe and seen by wearing light-coloured and high-visibility clothing and highly reflective accessories so cars and other people can see you clearly from the front and the back. High-visibility clothing is essential for night and winter running – so, invest in running gear with reflective detailing or buy yourself some hi-vis accessories such as reflective gloves, a hat, or a headband.
3. Light The Way
If running in the early morning or late at night on muddy trails is commonplace, it may be worth considering investing in one of our running headlamps or head torches. A head torch can ensure that you can see the route ahead and that others can see you too - especially in an emergency in the hills.
4. Tell Someone Where You're Going
It’s always a good idea to give a friend or family member the heads up that you’re off out on a run and where you’ll be heading. Whether it’s a quick text to a friend or a shout as you’re leaving the house, make sure you ask them to get back in contact with you if they don’t hear from you after your expected arrival time home.
5. Run With a Friend Or In a Group
The age-old adage is true - there is always safety in numbers. As the days get shorter and the nights get longer – why not see if one of your friends will join you on your next winter run or, better yet, find your nearest Runners Need Run Club!
6. Take Your Phone
It’s always worth taking your phone out with you, whether you’re with others or have let someone know you’re out alone – make sure to carry your phone with you just in case. Whether it’s using one of our handy phone holders, grabbing a pair of leggings with a built-in phone pocket, or taking a running jacket with a security pouch, we have plenty of options to keep your phone safe and on hand at all times.
7. Run Against The Traffic
For those running on city streets and countryside lanes, when out in poor light – always ensure you run against the traffic so you can take notice of any potential dangers coming. This way, you can notice headlights coming around corners or on busy roads more quickly and easily and are much more likely to be able to get out of the way of cars and other road users fast and safely.
8. Run Well-Lit Routes
Although this may not always be possible when out in more rural settings when in the city, try and stick to well-lit routes to reduce your risk of tripping or stumbling. If you're trail or fell running where there can be little to no light, ensure you wear a head torch or running light for safety.
9. Vary Up Your Routine
Although we never want to think it, running the same route at the same time every day can make you more of a predictable target, especially at night. Varying up your routine not only keeps you safe but also keeps your daily workout that bit more interesting. Find some great ideas for your next run in London here.
10. Trust Your Instincts
Although we hope these tips help you on your next night-time run, the old sayings are always true: Trust your instincts. They’re probably right. If you don’t feel comfortable, move to a better-lit area or head back home. And remember: There’s always the gym!