I hope you are doing well today.
As I mentioned a while ago, I started running at night when the time changed.
Prior to that decision, I reaaaallllllly hated running at night.
I am already pretty blind, so pair that with the fact my visibility is even worse at night… and you have yourself an accident waiting to happen.
But, I reaaaallllllly hate running in the morning (even though I tried it for a short period of time).
So, until the time changes again I have to accept the fact that I am a night runner.
Here are a few tips and tricks I have learned over the last few months about running at night!
1. Run against traffic. It’s easier to avoid cars if you can see them coming, so make sure you can see their headlights and they can see you.
2. Wear reflective gear. Most running clothes and shoes have reflective strips on them, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to add to it. Check out 2XUs Hyoptik Thermal compression tights for warmth, compression and visibility. It’s a combination of everything runners need on a cold night run!
3. Use a headlamp. As I have mentioned a few times, I am obsessed with my Nathan Zephyr Fire 300 Hand Torch. Not only is it easy to use, but the light that it gives off is very bright.
4. Carry your ID. Put your driver’s license in your armband (or pocket) or buy a RoadID… (which I actually really need to do).
5. Vary your routes and times. Potential attackers can study runners’ routines and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area. Don’t make yourself an easy target by always running the same route at the same time.
6. Run with a buddy. There’s strength and safety in numbers! If possible, don’t run alone. If you’re running alone, let someone know the route you’re running and approximately how long you will be out.
7. Carry a cell phone. You’ll be able to contact police immediately if something happens to you or you notice anything out of the ordinary.
8. Watch out for other bikes and runners. Even if you’re running on a path or in a park with no cars, always be aware of other runners and cyclists. Before you stop or turn around, make sure your path is clear. This advice applies to running in both daylight and darkness.
9. Lower the volume. If you must run with music (I do), do so with the volume at a minimum. Listening to music at high volumes cuts off your sense of hearing leaves you at a disadvantage. You can’t hear oncoming cars, cyclists yelling to move, dogs, or any other potential threat.
10. Follow your instincts. If you feel that you’re entering an unsafe situation, trust your gut and run to a safe location.
The most important thing to remember is that it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you don’t have the proper gear, don’t risk your life by running at night.
And… don’t use not having the proper gear as an excuse to not run.
Get the gear, be safe and GO RUN!
27 thoughts on “Night Running Safety 101”
Great tips! Varying the route and time of runs is a great idea!
I also use app called LocaToWeb it sends email to my husband and he tracks me online while I run. It gives him comfort to know where I am.
Fantastic! Thank you for sharing that!! 🙂
I bought a couple of LED armbands that work great. I also could not agree more about running AGAINST traffic, even if you are on sidewalks. As I mention here, we are all turning into smart phone zombies, especially when we are driving.
I think you are right on point here with all of your recommendations.
Thank you so much… and I totally agree with your blog post! 🙂
Great advice. It’s easy for people to forget about the basics.
That being said, as pedestrians we should always go against traffic unless we have our own dedicated path. So anytime we’re running on the road (day or night) we should be watching the cars come towards us.
Please keep the volume down if you run with earbuds (I don’t) we had a woman get attacked over the summer and she had earbuds in (not the only reason but a factor). Less than a week later I ran up on a woman in the arroyo and had I wanted to I could have stabbed her. I was yelling and she still didn’t hear me.
Be safe people.
Thank you Josh! This is a great reminder. I think as runners we forget how important safety is until something bad happens. We need to keep it in the forefront of our minds all the time!
I’ve got the Nathan torch too. Love it. And it doesn’t bother me to hold something b/c its got the wrist/hand band thing. I hardly even notice it. An added benefit is the flashing red strobe light on the back of it. All my friends that drive by me early in the morning compliment the safety of it. And another benefit is the alarm button. Good for super annoying dogs that are going crazy trying to get off their leash to bite!
YES! I love that alarm. Thanks for mentioning that!
I used to be like you and only ever ran in the evening, not because I didn’t have the time or option to run in the mornings but just because I actually really enjoyed the night running. It’s more chilled out and you feel a bit bad ass! But in the last year I’ve completely gone the opposite way and do all my runs in the mornings. There may have to be a night run this week though as I missed my morning run today due to laziness 😉
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Hahaha. Atleast you got it in! That is the most important part 🙂
I love my RoadID and the lights that they sell are awesome- super bright to help cars see you. I also use their app for virtual tracking. Great post!
AWESOME! Thanks for the info on the RoadID by the way. I just bought one for myself a few minutes ago!
I carry pepper spray with me as well on all my runs, morning or night!
Good job! I should have mentioned that in my post too. Thanks for adding that in 🙂
I run at night (very early morning – hey, darkness is darkness… 😉 ) a lot and one tip I’ll change is to not even run with music at all.Such a peaceful time with little cars – use it to recharge, to hear the odd car and you can then even hear the bikes, hear the birds awaken… but maybe that’s just me.
Enjoy the dark runs – they’re awesome!
No! You are totally right. I think when you ditch the music, running becomes more meditative.
Those are great tips. I run in the morning when it’s still dark. I have a Nathan arm band and because I also like to run with music I just leave my ear buds at home and have the music play through the speaker. I like the idea of the Nathan hand torch but wonder if it’s awkward to carry since I don’t like holding things when I run.
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Nope, it is soooo comfortable. I can’t even tell that it’s in my hand because of the strap and how light is it. I highly recommend it.
I have a Yikes ID pretty much the same as RoadID but with better customers service and pricing.
AWESOME! Thanks for the blog post too. I will check it out now!
Love my RoadID – that was one of my first serious ‘I’m a runner’ purchases. That and I have a Nathan bright LED light on my shoe, I’ve been told that it looks like I have a big glow bracelet on my ankle – I run way early in the morning and cars need to be able to see me!
GOOD JOB! It is so important to be seen by cars to prevent getting hurt
Great tips! I have the RoadID and really like it. I bought the bracelet and a shoe tag but I only use the shoe tag because it’s always on my shoe so I never forget it. Definitely gives me peace of mind. I also only have one earbud in when I run so I can hear the world around me. Enjoy your evening runs and stay safe.
Thank you! I will 🙂 And good job on having a Road ID!