Going for a run after the sun has gone down or before it comes up is sometimes the only time to squeeze in a few miles for those with a busy schedule. Use these tips to be the safest runner you can be when running in the dark.
Let someone know where you are going
Before you take off on your run, let someone know where you are going and what time you plan on returning. Tell your husband, send a text to your teenager or send a quick email to a friend letting them know what route you are planning to take and how long you should be out.
Light up the night
Runners are hard to see at night and can be easily overlooked by a tired or distracted driver. Wearing reflective clothing and lights makes it much easier for drivers to spot you. Also, wearing a headlamp or carrying a flashlight can help you avoid potholes and other hazards in the road.
Whenever running alone, day or night, it’s important to carry identification. Whether it’s a driver license or a runner’s ID tag such as a Road ID, an ID can end up being the most important piece of gear you carry in an emergency.
Carry a cell phone
It might feel a bit cumbersome to carry your phone on a run, but in the event you need it and there aren’t other people around it could be a lifesaver.
Turn down the music, wear headphones in just one ear or, best yet, don’t listen to music at all. It’s important to hear what is going on around you, especially when it is dark and you can’t see your surroundings as well.
Power in numbers
Running with a friend or Fido is not only more fun, but also safer. If you don’t have runner friends or a dog ask a friend to bike along you while you run.
Switch up your route
Change your running route and time you run every so often. Getting acquainted with the same route over and over again can make you susceptible to letting your guard down and allows assailants to know when and were you are.
Look both ways before you cross the street
Crosswalks, especially those regulated by stop signs are the worst for runners. Drivers will pull out in front of the stop sign looking for cars, but often look right beyond runners. Always make eye contact with the driver before you step off the curb.