A GUIDE TO NIGHT RUNNING
With busy schedules, night owl tendencies, and the days getting shorter as we move into the winter months, sometimes the perfect time for your daily run is after the sun has gone down. Night running is a great way to fit in your workout while decompressing from the day, but it’s important to remember to do it safely.
Here are some tips on how to enjoy your night run.
Night Running Benefits
Running, in general, is known for its amazing cardiovascular and mental benefits, but there’s even more to take away when you take on your run after dark. One of the biggest positives to running at night is better sleep. Night runners may find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Physically exerting yourself after an already busy day is a one-way ticket to deep, restful sleep—preparing your body to do it all over again tomorrow.
Another one of the benefits that come with night running is more time. For most people, after the workday is time to wind down with little to nothing else planned for that day. As a runner, this gives you a virtually unlimited clock to run against. With nothing stopping you, you can run farther, longer, and reach milestones quicker.
Finally, one of the most important benefits of night running is the therapeutic affects you can experience. After a long day, a run can be a huge stress reliever to help calm the mind and exert the body. Night running offers a healthy way to decompress from the day.
Get Your Run In, Safely
Along with the benefits of night running, there are also a handful of potential risks not as apparent during the day. One of the main issues is visibility. If you’re hitting the road after dark, make sure to wear bright, reflective clothing or accessories to make yourself visible to oncoming traffic as well as other runners. Some great examples of this type of gear are reflective vests and headlamps.
Another safety precaution to consider when running at night would be to choose a path that you’re familiar with in a well-lit, safe area. A good rule of thumb is to find a popular, heavily trafficked path that’s sure to have numerous runners or pedestrians within a close distance. If you’re not too familiar with your route, planning out your night run prior to taking off can help you better gather your surroundings.
Along with this, it’s always a good idea to bring a running buddy if possible. Not only does this give you someone to keep you company throughout your workout, but another person offers another pair of eyes to look out for anything out of the ordinary.
Lastly, when embarking on your late night run always make sure to bring your cell phone, preferably with a full charge. Your phone can act as your GPS navigation if you’re unfamiliar with your route or in an emergency, a way to contact someone for help.