The cool, calm air, the quiet streets, the allure of lengthening your stride in the glow of moonlight or street lamps – sometimes, you just can’t resist lacing up for a good night run. When the sun goes down, though, even the most familiar routes can take on new challenges or risks. Whether you’re new to nocturnal training, or a seasoned vet, here are a few tips to safely own the night on every run.
Visibility is Key: Unless you have the eyes and reflexes of a cat, when running at night you need to be sure you can see where you’re going and be seen by whatever might come your way. For clothing, don’t go quietly into a good night; rock loud colors or reflective gear that stands out in the darkness. And for running routes, choose well lit or open areas where nothing can catch you by surprise.
Know the Nightlife: Whether it’s punks, drunks or skunks, the night can be full of unsavory characters. Before hitting the trail, be sure you know what’s still safe once the sun goes down. Be wary around garbage bins, bars, nightclubs or other hotspots for animal or party animal activity.
Turn off the Tunes: Sorry music lovers, but because you can’t see as far or as clearly at night, you need all your other senses as sharp as they can be. Even if you were to turn your music down enough to hear everything around you, the songs themselves can still be a distraction.
Bring a Friend: Because the night belongs to runners, why not share all the fun with a friend? Not only does it give you safety in numbers, but running with a buddy or a group can also make the evening that much more enjoyable.