Running in the Dark – Crazy or Stupid?

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Every morning my alarm goes off at 4:45 am and I know that it is time to go for a run – after all, it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t get my morning run in! I never used to worry about my early morning runs because I would rarely see anyone else or any cars on the road. Then I joined a running group and heard horror stories about running in the dark without a reflective vest so naturally, I bought one to fit in with all of the other runners. Now flash forward a year to yesterday morning when that running vest saved me from getting hit by a speeding Uber driver. Ok.. maybe that was a bit dramatic considering I also heard and saw the car coming so I easily moved out of the way. However, it did make me feel better to be wearing a reflective vest because I know for a fact that he saw me.

I don’t love running in the dark but here are some my favorite things to remember when I do:

  1. Be aware – I admit, I’m almost too aware. I always get startled by my shadow or sounds from nearby bushes. Better safe than sorry!
  2. Ditch the tunes – To my point above, I wouldn’t be able to be aware if I was distracted. I love listening to music and podcasts during my runs but I save it for when the sun is out.
  3. Lights, lights, lights! – In addition to being seen, I would also advise to run where there is at least SOME light for you to see, even if you have a flashlight. For me, it’s not worth falling and getting injured because I couldn’t see something on the ground.

I love hearing tips and stories from fellow runners, feel free to share!

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5 comments

  1. What time do you start work? I would like to run every morning, but I start work at 7 am. In order to get ready for that I wake up at 5 am. Part of me wish to have 9 to 5 job just to be able to run before work.

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  2. I love running in the dark! I try to go where there isn’t any traffic and luckily we have a paved trail. I use a headlamp for light, but I try to keep it as low as possible. I love using music during the run. It combines with the darkness to make me feel like I’m in another world.

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  3. I work at 5am so morning runs are out of the question for me, but I enjoy evening runs. In summertime there are lots of daylight hours, but sunset is getting earlier every day. I have a reflective vest with LED lights which brings me a measure of comfort knowing that I am very visible. I agree that awareness is key. I never listen to music, preferring to listen to my own footsteps . Keep on keeping on!

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