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How To Stay Safe When Running In The Dark

how to stay safe when running in the dark at night

As the nights draw in and winter approaches, sometimes it's unavoidable to go running in the dark. We're here with all our top tips so that you can stay safe when running at night. 

Run in familiar locations

When darkness creeps in, now is not the time to explore a new trail that you've been meaning to check out. Stick to well-known areas that you've run many times before.

Especially if you start your run when it's still light but then it starts to get dark, your eyes may not adjust as well as you'd expect and so any unexpected hazards could take you by surprise. Run in familiar locations that you know are safe and that you know you can easily get home from if things take a turn.

Run in well-lit areas

If you usually run in an unlit park or wildlife area, it's advisable to stick to well-lit public spaces if you're going to be running in the dark – especially if you run solo. You never know what might be lurking in the shadows and so it's best to mitigate risk by sticking to well-lit areas. This also reduces the risk of tripping over loose branches or tree roots and injuring yourself. 

Take a fully-charged phone with you

You never know what might happen on a run, even in daylight, so having a fully charged phone on you could be a lifesaver (literally). It is also worth letting someone know that you are going running and how long you intend to be so that they know when to expect you home. Having friends and family know your whereabouts adds an extra element of safety when out running alone and can also add peace of mind for both parties.

Wear reflective clothing and LED lights

There are many different hazards when it comes to running in the dark: wildlife, trip hazards, other people, and also traffic. In order to minimise risk and make yourself as visible as possible, wear running clothing that has reflective detailing on it so that you stand out and can be seen. Your running leggings and running jacket should have reflective strips and panels so that you light up in a car's headlights and there is no chance that they won't see you.

Additionally, if you are going to be running in a park, wear LED lights such as a head torch not only to increase your visibility to others, but so that you are also able to see where you are going!

Stick to the path

Never overestimate how well a motorist can see you. Avoid running in the road wherever possible and always stick to a pedestrian footpath. Even if the road is well-lit, it's not worth risking being hit by a car, especially if you run with headphones and can't hear as well as normal. 

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