Running in the Dark
In a perfect world you would be able to plan your entire day around your run and head out for a run whenever you feel like it. Unfortunately, we have other commitments that get in the way of our plans for exercise. This means with work and commuting we might be forced to have to go running in the dark. However, running in the dark can be very dangerous.
We asked personal trainer Dan Smullen from Dartry Health Club for safety advice when running in the dark. Here’s his top 10 tips:
Run Against Traffic
This will give you a heads-up if oncoming traffic gets too close for comfort. Give yourself a chance to react, if you need to!
Ditch the Headphones
It’s a great motivator to listen to music such as ‘Eye of the Tiger’ when exercising. However, you’re better off leaving the headphones at home. It’s important to remember that one of your senses is already severely limited, so why would you want to limit another one of your senses? A study found that traffic accidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones tripled from 2004 to 2011, with 70% resulting in deaths.
Increase Your Visibility
Make it easy for cars to see you and wear reflective clothing and lights. According to RSA, more than two-thirds of fatal pedestrian collisions happen at night.
Dress like a 1990s raver crossed with a construction worker. Reflective and highly visible. Worried people will see you? That’s the idea!
Run with a Buddy
Running with a friend is great as they will push you to go further and faster. On the other hand, there are a number of other benefits of running with a buddy such as running in a group wards off possible attackers, they provide immediate help if there is an emergency and you will be more likely to be seen too.
Finding it difficult to find a buddy to run with? Take the dog out with you when running to keep you company. Okay, they might not be able to tell someone you’re in trouble, unless they are Lassie of course. Nonetheless dogs will be able to ward off any possible attackers.
Run in Populated Areas
Stick with well-lit areas. If there are other runners around there is good chance the area is safe and appropriate for runners.
Carry a Phone
There are a number of reasons to bring your phone when going for a run. For instance, a mobile will be important for an emergency, if you get lost or to send your location. Running is a great way to get away from everything and especially your phone but it’s very important that you have a phone when going for a run at night.
You will want to make sure that someone knows that you will be outside running. If anything happens while you are out, this person will know where and when to look if you need help.
It’s going to get very cold in the coming weeks, with expected snow. Make sure you’re wrapped up well underneath your reflective clothing.
Run a Familiar Route
It’s good to stick to a familiar route, especially when it comes to jogging, because you’ll be less likely to bump into anything hidden by the darkness.
It’s also smart to run any new routes in the daytime so you can identify any potential hazards you wouldn’t see in the dark, such as potholes.
Enjoy the Peacefulness
Running in the dark can be very enjoyable and therapeutic at times as there is not many people around, it’s quiet and peaceful. It can be a perfect way to end the day and set you up for work in the morning.
So what are you waiting for? Throw on your running shoes, reflective clothing and get running to shake off the January blues!!