Running in the Dark: 5 Essential Safety Tips

Going for a run in the dark can make you more vulnerable to injury or threats, so it’s important to take certain safety precautions. Enjoy your workout with these five essential safety tips for running in the dark.

1. Wear High-Visibility Clothing

The most versatile hi-vis safety clothes incorporate brightly colored fabric and retroreflective material. The fluorescent colors help you stand out during day runs. Retro-reflective material will make you visible in low-light conditions and at night when a light source, such as a beam from headlights, hits the fabric.

Though commonly associated with worksites, casual hi-vis clothes that incorporate fluorescent colors, and retroreflective tape keep people safe during outdoor workouts. Be sure to wear well-fitted safety clothing for ample coverage and visibility.

2. Optimize Lighting when Running in the Dark

Improving your state of mind is just one of the many ways running benefits your health. If your schedule or the season makes it difficult for you to run during the day, plan and prepare to make the most of artificial light. Prioritize running in populated, well-lit areas for your safety.

Wear or carry a small light to illuminate your path and make it easier to avoid trips and falls. The light also increases your visibility to other people. Attach a light to your running belt, shoes, or hat for the greatest convenience.

3. Maintain Situational Awareness when Running in the Dark

The next essential safety tip for running in the dark is to maintain situational awareness. Having situational awareness means you perceive objects, animals, and people in your environment and know what’s going on around you.

The better your situational awareness, the more easily you can avoid obstacles or confrontations. During your run, continuously scan the area. Don’t use noise-canceling headphones or listen to loud or distracting music so you can rely on your hearing, too.

4. Run at a Sustainable Pace

One of the most important things to know about running is that if you over exert yourself, you’ll burn out. Depending on your training program, you’ll want to run at a comfortable pace for about 80 percent of your workout.

This will challenge you without depleting your energy, helping you to stay in good condition to respond to any challenges you might encounter on your run.

5. Involve or Inform People You Trust

Always tell someone that you’re going for a run. Whether you tell a loved one or a roommate, let the person know the direction you’re running and how long you plan to be gone. Keep your phone charged and with you in case you need to make a call.

Consider using your phone to share your location. If possible, run with another person or a dog. This precaution makes you less of a target for anyone with bad intentions.

What do you feel are some of the best safety measures to take when running in the dark? Let us know in the comments below!

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet types, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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