If you can only run during times when it’s dark, be aware that running outside is not always as safe as running in daylight. When possible, try and run with your running friends so you are not alone. There are plenty of running groups around you can join and find perfect partners who run in the dark as well. However, if you do absolutely have to run alone, be aware of your surroundings and follow these tips below:
Tell someone where you are going or use a tracking device
If you are planning on running alone, one thing to do is to tell someone where you are going and what time you roughly think you will be home.
That way if something happens, there is someone who knows where you went. There are also some great tracking apps out there, which enable people to literally track your every move when training.
Stay as close to well lit areas as you can
When running in the dark, try and follow a route that you know is well lit and consider avoiding parklands and remote areas. Remaining in a well lit area means that you will avoid potentially colliding with cyclists or other runners as well as avoiding potential attackers.
Also, when running along the road, run towards traffic so you can see what cars are coming towards you.
Consider carrying a personal safety device or phone
If you want to feel safer when running alone then consider carrying a personal safety device that will make a loud noise if someone attempts to attack you. It’s a scary thought, but it is better to be aware and prepared.
Consider your clothing
Wear visible clothing to ensure you are seen by passing traffic. There are lots of running stores that sell reflective clothing and bibs or you can even carry a bike light that you can attach to your vest or wrist to give you a bit more light.
Don’t run the same route every time
Consider changing your running routes regularly and the time that you run to avoid potential attackers who may be watching and tracking your training habits.
Leave the headphones at home
When you are running outside - whether during the daytime or at night it requires you to be far more aware of what you are doing than running at the gym on the treadmill. For this reason, running with headphones is not advised.
When you run with headphones it means that you aren’t 100% aware of what is going on around you and that means you wouldn’t be able to hear if a dog was running after you, a car was approaching or if someone was running after you.
Running outside and alone in the dark is not the time to put your headphones on as you need to ensure that you are aware of what is going on around you on the road and on the pavement.
These tips hopefully give you some ideas on how to be prepared for running in the dark and how to continue with your training safely.
UK born and based currently in Australia, Zoe has a passion for running as evident by her participation in excess of 30 running events, including five marathons, over the past 14 years. Wanting to share her enthusiasm for running, five years ago Zoe started a blog for the everyday runner “The Girl That Runs“. This blog has quickly built up a strong following amongst runners of all ages and experience levels looking for advice with easily relatable content.
Main Photo Credit: bikeriderlondon/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Mooshny/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Iryna Tiumentseva/shutterstock.com; Fourth Photo Credit: tomertu/shutterstock.com