Whether you’re an early-riser who enjoys starting your day with a run, or a night owl who prefers training during the later hours of the day, staying safe during a run – especially when it’s dark – should be your main priority. Taking special precautions to ensure that you’re safe and able to enjoy your run without any worries is important, and here are some tips to help you achieve just that.
Travel the well-beaten path
While this may sound rather instinctive, it’s always best to stick to a route that you’re familiar with. There will definitely be those lazy days when you feel like cutting courses and taking the short route home instead. However, if this involves running through a dark and quiet alley, or a desolate place with few people, then you should definitely rethink this route. Always opt for the path that is well-lit and is frequented by other runners or cyclists, too.
Find a buddy
If you don’t feel safe running alone, then your best bet would be to find a trusted friend whom you can run with. This could be a fellow running enthusiast, or even a furry four-legged pal! After all, companionship always brings comfort, especially in the dark. Not only will you be able to get a good exercise in, but you’ll also have the opportunity to bond with your RBF (running best friend)!
Provide information on your whereabouts
Perhaps you prefer to be left alone with your own thoughts as you embark on your therapeutic run, or simply because you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life; it would be advisable to notify someone when and where you’re going for a run. This could be your partner, or family member, or friend, whom you could drop a text to inform them of the route you’ll be taking. Do remember to send them another text to let them know that you’re back home safely after your run to prevent them from waiting and fretting over you.
Since it’s dark, wearing bright or reflective clothing can also help you stand out so that motorists or other runners can spot you from a distance. This is especially important if you’re taking a route that requires you to cross several roads, as wearing dark clothing that makes you blend in with your surroundings might increase the likelihood of an accident that would have been avoidable if you had taken greater precautions. You could also consider bringing a torchlight – or even an LED headlamp – to maintain clear sight of what you’re running towards.
Keep it quiet
Lastly, while listening to your favourite playlist may typically be your go-to pastime when running, it would be best to keep the volume to a minimum or ditch the music entirely so that you’re able to concentrate on your surroundings instead of getting distracted by that sick beat. Listening for oncoming traffic or even muted footsteps would not be possible with your earphones in, so do consider turning the music off and running in silence instead. In fact, this could also bring you closer to nature as you tune in to the chirping sounds of crickets and night birds.
Getting a solid workout is what all of us want to achieve, but doing this while staying safe is key. In general, being observant and vigilant instead of letting your guard down is the way to go. You don’t need to worry about monsters hiding in the dark, but accidents are a very real fear that you should remain vigilant against.