The days are getting shorter and the days darker. It is the ebb and flow of the seasons here in New England. With my new job and routine my workouts happen in the morning. It’s a little bit of me time before the day starts and I know that despite the days curve balls I got my workout in. It doesn’t matter though if you are a morning runner or an evening runner, we have one thing in common these days…it’s dark. After having been spooked a few mornings I’ve been thinking about staying safe in the dark. So, here’s my plan and some tips for you.
Avoid the same routes. This goes for morning, noon or night. As a runner it’s important to change your routes often. I never run the same way twice. Somedays I run my loop one direction and then change it the next time. My routes change based on the mileage too so each week where I run is different. Be safe and mix up your routes.
Wear a reflective vest. It’s dark and cars aren’t always expecting runner, especially at 5:30am. The vest helps to make you more noticeable so cars see you before it’s too late.
Bring a light. There are tons of different lights out there for runners. There are head lamps, good old flashlights, small LED lights built into the sleeves of shirts and many more. Find one that works for you and carry it with you! Most of my running area is lit by street lamps but there are dark spots and I find it helpful to see the ground and to be illuminated for the traffic.
Carry an ID. Another one that goes for day or night but it’s always safe to have an ID on you. Go Sport ID makes great bracelet and shoe tags as does RoadID. You never know what may happen and it never hurts to be ID’d.
Play the Escape Game. When I was 16 and learning to drive my Dad always made me play the escape game; where was I going to head to avoid an accident? I play the same game when I run now. Where am I going to go if a car comes at me, or if I need to get someone’s attention, how is that going to happen? It’s always good to be aware of your surroundings and have a plan!
Tell Someone Where and When. It’s important to tell some one where and when you are going for a run. If you are not back, they’ll know where to look!
Ditch the Head Phones. Yep, it’s important to be able to hear what is around you. I never run with head phones but know many who do. That music may help motivate you but can impact your senses!