Tips for Running at Night
Trying to squeeze a run into your schedule? It can be hard when your days are so busy. You get up super early to get ready for work. You spend all day at the office. And, when you finally get home, you have to make dinner and take care of things around the house.
This often leaves you having to run at night. This can be very meditative and ensure you get a good night’s sleep. But running in the dark comes with unique challenges.
Luckily, we’re here to help. Here are 10 tips to ensure you have productive and safe night runs.
1. Fuel Up
Nothing’s more frustrating than your stomach growling mid-run. You’ll want to fuel up.
It’s best to eat dinner at least an hour or so before setting out. This will give you the energy you need while ensuring you don’t feel weighed down.
If you eat dinner super early, you might want to fuel up closer to your run. Choose something light and high-energy like trail mix or a piece of fruit.
2. Dress for the Occasion
Running at night can be dangerous. Ensure cars can see you by dressing appropriately. This means wearing reflective, bright colors. You may even want to get a headlamp.
3. Bring Your Phone
Most of us bring our phones on runs regardless of the time of day. They let us listen to music and track our routes.
Having your phone on you at night, however, is a must. It will allow you to find your way back if you get lost or call someone if they need to pick you up.
Another great perk of having your phone is its built-in flashlight. So, you won’t be totally in the dark if you come across an unlit area.
4. Choose a Well-Lit Route
Your phone’s flashlight can be handy, but you shouldn’t depend on it for your whole run. You’ll want to choose a well-lit route. This will ensure you are aware of your surroundings.
5. Vary Your Routes
Run routes that you are familiar with. Nighttime is not the time to explore new trails. But you shouldn’t run the same route every night. Attackers might pick up on the pattern and track you.
6. Bring a Buddy
There is strength in numbers. If possible, bring a buddy along with you. If you can’t find anyone, be sure to let someone know that you’re out running.
7. Be Aware
Make a conscious effort to be hyper-alert. Rather than zoning out, pay attention to your surroundings. Be aware of the people around you, vehicles, obstacles in your path, etc.
8. Use Headphones at a Low Volume
It’s best not to use headphones at all. But we know that many people need them to get through their run.
If you choose to use headphones, keep the volume low. You might also want to pick a podcast or audiobook over music. Music tends to drown out sounds. With only a voice in your ear, you’ll be better able to hear your surroundings.
9. Run Against Traffic
Always run against traffic. You’ll be able to see oncoming vehicles and move out of the way if necessary.
When you get back, make sure to recover. Protein shakes or light snacks will do the trick.
Or eat dinner if you didn’t before your run. Choose foods that will help you recover like lean meats or other high-protein foods.
With these tips, you are bound to have a productive and safe night run.