Tips for Running Safely at Night
We’ve all heard it at one time or another, for a range of reasons: Don’t run at night.
But for many of us with jobs, kids, and commitments (um, isn’t that everyone?), running in the evenings or early in the morning are our only options. And in the dead of winter, daylight is limited. So, if we must run at 5 AM or 5 PM, what are we to do?
Let There Be Light
Be smart, be seen
A good headlamp is a must so that you can navigate curbs, trails, ice, and other obstacles. Liz Anjos, a distance runner who set the fastest known time (FKT) northbound for women on the Appalachian Trail (AT) this past summer, spent a lot of time running in the dark. In her attempt to make an overall FKT running the AT, she often started running at 4 in the morning and didn’t finish until late at night. She has good advice for running in the dark:
“I always carry both a headlamp and a flashlight. That was a tip given to me by Jennifer Pharr Davis, the women’s AT record holder. Now I never run in the dark without my flashlight!”
Prior to carrying a second light source, Liz experienced a few scary situations. “I’ve fallen while running and had my headlamp fly off my head,” she said. “I’ve had two close calls with losing my light source, and it’s probably the only time I’ve felt truly scared on a run (even more so than bear encounters).”
In addition to a headlamp and flashlight, try and locate well-lit places to run in the dark. Roads with streetlamps and neighborhoods with houses that keep their lights on are good places to start.