How to keep running in the dark



I think it's safe to say that we're now officially in Autumn which, on the plus side, happens to be my favourite time of the year to run. I love going out and seeing the changing face of nature as it's gets ready for Winter, with the amazing colours in the landscape. However, if like me, you are limited to getting the miles in either early in the morning or after work, then the likelihood is that you'll be spending a fair amount of time running in the dark over the next few months.  If that makes you a bit wary, then the options open to you are either to rearrange your running schedule (not likely),  stop running until Spring (not going to happen), treadmill (Noooo!!) or get smart about running in the dark. If it's a yes to the last one, then read on.


I'll be honest, running alone in the dark does make me a little anxious, especially out in the forests myself, where I'm convinced I hear things behind every tree. If you've got any doubts on personal safety then the following guidelines are useful to follow which will help you keep your piece of mind. Thankfully not really an issue up here, but always best just to have your wits about you.


    • - Safety in numbers: Run with a partner or group in a public place
    • - Be accessible: Carry a phone and your ID
    • - Have a deterrent: Attackers typically prey on those they deem as easy targets, and as such, are not interested in a fight.  Make a noise, and learn a few self-defense moves
    • - Stay aware of your surroundings: Don’t explore new routes in the dark and ditch the headphones (or wear the AfterShokz bone conducting headphones), so you’ll be able to hear trouble approaching


However, the main purpose of this blog was to give some pointers to you morning and night runners on staying as safe as possible from the bigger threat which is actually being hit by a vehicle. Unfortunately, statistics are showing that the number of pedestrians being injured in road accidents are increasing, and it stands to reason that the chances of being hit are increased in the dark hours.


Depending on the weather, a reflective running vest or a reflective running jacket is a great place to start. As the temperature drops and you continue to bundle up, ensure your top layers aren’t covering up your reflective gear. Look for running tights, hats, and gloves with reflective elements.

It bears mentioning here that reflectivity only works if there are headlights on you. Therefore, our optimal solutions for safety need to include both reflective running gear and lights. If you don’t want to manually carry lights, a running headtorch is a great solution. If you want your head free and clear as well, clip-on lighting solutions exist that you can place on your shoes or just about anywhere.

To make things easier for you, we've compiled a collection of our favourite visibility accessories here. Whatever method of reflectivity and lighting you choose, remember being seen is being safe.

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  • Andrew Gordon