6 Tips for Running in the Dark from a Pro Runner
Fall is here, and that means the light is changing, days are getting shorter, and your evening run is all the more likely to coincide with a setting sun. Running at night can be a refreshing and invigorating activity, but it requires extra care, good judgment and a stronger focus on safety. We asked Athleta Fit Model, night owl and record-breaking ultra-marathon runner Julia Stamps Mallon for her top tips on how to stay safe while running at the edges of the day.
Tip #1: Be Seen at All Times
Julia is wearing the Reflective Be Free Tight as she takes the time to adjust her laces.
Most likely if it’s dark, you will be taking roads and not trails. Reflective gear is key! Avoid wearing all black and instead opt for bright colors with reflective strips.
Tip #2: Be Heard
As I generally run on my own early in the morning, I like to let people know that I am coming by playing my music on my phone speakers. This means I don’t surprise anyone and that I can scare bigger animals away. Since I have my phone with me, I also have a “safety blanket” in case there’s ever a problem.
Tip #3: Light the Way
Headlights are more multifunctional than you may think! I find it more comfortable to wear mine around my waist. I have also seen lights for shoes, but it might make you dizzy watching the light move as fast as your feet. A light around the waist allows it to shine just in front of you without bouncing up and down as it does when you wear one on your head.
Tip #4: Run Towards Traffic
Being the control freak that I am, I like to see the cars coming versus the cars seeing me ahead. I would recommend you run on the left side of the road towards the cars so you see exactly what is coming in case you need to suddenly jump off the road. It saves you from wondering whether a car is coming and your neck from frequently looking back .
Tip #5: Meet a Friend
When it’s cold and dark, it can be hard to motivate. Sometimes having coffee and enjoying quiet time at home or sipping a glass of wine while finishing up work is more appealing than the exercise plans your made in your head. So, find that workout buddy who will keep you accountable and set a date. Plan to meet along the way so you have that extra motivation. Having someone by your side will help keep you on point.
Tip #6: Enjoy the Peacefulness
There is something therapeutic about running when it’s dark. It’s quiet, peaceful and my favorite way to start or finish a day. So lace up, stay reflective, be seen and heard, and enjoy your time out there!
Photos by: Wedge Creative
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