Like with real estate, there are only three important things to remember when running in the dark; safety, safety, and most importantly safety. Running in the dark can be a dangerous affair if you’re not careful. But with the proper precautions in place, it can be a wonderful time of quiet solitude.
- Safety Tip #1: Proper Gear - First and foremost, you need to be able to see and be seen. Be sure to wear proper reflective running clothing, and if necessary lighting.
- Safety Tip #2: Be Alert – Pay extra attention to your foot strike as to watch out for unforeseen potholes and debris in your path. Shorten your stride and be ready to jump to action to avoid any objects or idiot drivers.
- Safety tip #3: Tell Somebody – This is always good advice to heed regardless, but especially when running in dark conditions. Tell a loved one, or write a note to leave on the dashboard of your car, about how long you plan to be out and what your route will be.
I have found some differences between the types of drivers on the road in the early morning versus the late evening. While, for me, it is much nicer to run first thing in the morning as part of a routine, many early-morning drivers are still pretty sleepy with slow reaction times. So you have to be extra alert and ready to the few you will come across. However, while the evening drivers tend to be much more alert, there are generally many more.
What other safety precautions do you take while running in the dark? Do you prefer mornings or evenings, and why?