Shedding Some Light on Running in the Dark

You could always find glow in the dark kicks.

Daylight savings bit me big time this week when I set out to do a long run from home. Typically the glow of the gym’s florescent lights illuminate my path, but outside at 5:30 AM it’s o’dark thirty. Although it was hard to see at times, it was actually a fantastic run. The streets were quiet, you could see people starting to wake up, and it’s rewarding to know that you are out there hoofing it while others are all warm and cozy under the covers.

To keep you safe and on pace, here are a few things I advise.

  • Remember the basic principle: Although you see them, doesn’t mean they see you.
  • Wear bright: Duh. I mean it’s dark, drivers on the road are probably tired and aren’t paying full attention. Make sure to wear white or another color that helps you stand out. All major sports stores carry reflectors for cheap.
  • Perhaps some illuminating shades like Kayne?

  • Silence is Golden: I know many of us love to run with our tunes, but if you are carrying your iPod please keep the volume low. Sure you may see the car lights, but you need to be alert to all your surroundings. I almost bumped into another runner because I couldn’t see him coming around a bend. Animals are also lurking, so lookout!
  • Route it out: Your typical running path might be great during the day, but I found my route was missing streetlights on an entire stretch. For safety, try to have alternate well-lit plans. Be extra careful at crosswalks, I can’t tell you how impatient drivers were. I also found that running on the side of the street was easier to navigate, since sidewalks can have hidden bumps and slants that are harder to see in the dark.

Knowing is half the battle.
Any other tips for running around dawn/dusk? What’s the one piece of workout equipment you would like to have glow in the dark?

17 responses to “Shedding Some Light on Running in the Dark

  1. Great post! I have a sweet night running jacket from Brooks that has 3M Scotchlight which reflects light. Pretty cool and stylish stuff. No deer in headlights moments for me.

  2. I have a couple vests / jackets with reflector tape stuff… (so does Basil, come to think of it…) and I think I’ve said this here probably a zillion times, I never listen to music on outdoor runs… I’m a chicken. 🙂

  3. Those sneaks would be awesome! I have some reflectors on my one pair of sneakers that help. Under Armor makes shorts that have reflective piping which is quite bright in the morning. I have to give you credit for waking up so early!

  4. Great tips! I don’t think I would ever run where I live alone, in the dark.
    1. I’m a scare-d cat
    2. It’s not so safe

    SO I would say, another tip might be to grab a buddy, especially if you live near a city! (I think I watch too much 20/20 and Dateline ha)

  5. The visuals are essential here…

    I honestly get depressed around mid-October when we set the clocks back and all of sudden it’s dark at 5:30 PM. NOT OKAY! We did group runs last fall and I used to laugh at the headlight runners, then I had to buy one because omg I was blind unless running uncomfortably close to another runner. But I held it – so it was a handlamp. And VERY useful.

  6. My mother was so concerned about me running in the dark (morning) she bought me a hat with a head light on it.

    Thanks mom, I love running with a d cell battery strapped to my face.

  7. I ran in the dark for the first time this weekend. I was alone in the woods in NH. Well, alone except for the bear that I SWORE was following me. Ok – maybe it was my shadow – sure felt like a bear was chasing me! I tried to look at the stars and appreciate the night…but I was still too scared!

  8. I live off of Peachtree Street in Atlanta, so I’m spoiled by having lots of street lights an tons of other runners at ANY time of day, including 5 a.m. If I do listen to music while on an early morning run, I only put one earplug in, so the other is able to hear beyond the music.

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