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Christine Luff

Tips for Running in the Dark

By November 4, 2013

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Now that Daylight Saving Time has ended, I'm finding it harder to run outside. My window of running between 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. no longer works because it's now dark at that time. I'll only run in the dark if I'm with other people in a well-lit area. If I can't do that, I try to rearrange my schedule so that I can run at lunchtime or I'll jump on the treadmill in the evening.

What about you? If you absolutely have to run in the dark, or even at dusk or dawn, here are some tips to stay safe:

Choose a well-lit route. It might not be your favorite route to run, but the most well-lit, populated†route is your safest choice. Oncoming cars see you better, and you'll always be able to see the road and avoid potential hazards.

Run against traffic. It's easier to avoid cars if you can see them coming. Don't run on busy roads and those with no shoulders or sidewalks.

Be visible. Wear white, yellow, or orange clothes, but that's not enough --†you must have††reflective gear on. Although some items (running shoes, jackets) already have reflective pieces on them, it's good to add a reflective vest over your shirt or jacket. I know some runners who run with a flashlight in their hand. A headlamp is also a great item for runners who do a lot of early morning or evening runs.

Get more tips for running in the dark.


November 13, 2011 at 11:54 am
(1) Justin says:

I run with my pit bull and wear a head lamp. No worries.

November 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm
(2) Costa Rica Running says:

I’ve never tried here in Costa Rica (in Italy I do). I live in San Josť and normally I run through the streets but the streets quality is poor so sometimes you can find a big hole! It’s really better to take advantage of your lunchtime or to go to the beach and to run with monkeys and a green forest nearby

November 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm
(3) Keith says:

When I run, I take 2 bright lights (200 lumen each) with me, one in each hand. It’s overkill, but if I come across a dog that want to argue, I have something to blind him with. This morning I happened to have a third light with me – a 1 watt headlamp.

That is my coping strategy, especially since a month ago I twisted an ankle on a rock that happened to be in the street. I’d rather replace batteries every few months than to go another 3 weeks without running.

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