Training Season 101: Running in the Dark
Are you an early morning runner, because you want to beat the heat? Are you a night runner because it helps relieve the stress from the work day? Do you run to or from work to maximize your time? Whatever the reason that causes you to run in the dark, there are a few “RULES” not “tips” that you need to follow.
I run early in the morning to beat the heat and to prepare me for the day (morning therapy).
Listening to Audio (Smart)
While running in the dark listening to any audio is frowned upon, because it reduces your ability to hear the world around you. Also, your sight is impaired, so your hearing is heightened for your protection. If you choose to run with audio, follow these rules. Option 1: leave one earbud out or run with Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones. Option 2: eliminate earbuds or headphones and utilize the speaker on your phone, iPod, or watch.
Some runners believe that running with music is not good because the tempo of the songs may push or reduce your pace. I run while listening to music, a podcast, or a guided run on my Nike Running Club app to keep my mind focused, especially if I’m running solo.
Reflective Gear (Safety)
Everyone knows while running in the dark you should wear light or neon colored clothing so that you are visible, but is this enough? No, you also MUST wear reflective gear, because it takes a significant amount of time for cars to stop once they see you, so runners need to be visible from afar. Remember saftey first!
Reflective gear includes vest, wrist, ankle or shoe accessories, hats or visors, even the old school headlamps.
Emergency Road ID (Prepared)
No one knows who you are when you are out running. Running with emergency ID is not only a good practice while running, but it is most important when running in the dark. If you don’t want to invest in an identification tag, you can use your smartphone emergency app.
In addition to running with an emergency ID, you should also share your start/end time, and your route with a family member or friend. iPhone users could share their location with someone while running, which will provide their exact location.
Running in the dark doesn’t have to be dangerous if you are smart, safe, and prepared.
Next stop, Too Hot To Handle