Beat the heat: Run at night

July 20th, 2015 by | Posted in CR Explains, Training | Tags: , , , ,

As the temperatures climb and air quality deteriorates, one of the best ways to prevent your run from becoming a suffer-fest is by getting out there late at night when things have cooled down a bit. Running at night can be a really fun experience, it provides a different perspective on your favourite routes. Many runners swear by it.

If you’re going to be on the streets at night, you need to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips for how to run at night without any issues.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.10.36 PM1) Dress appropriately.

Despite wearing less than winter runs, you can still easily wear the gear you need to stay visible without adding warmth. Invest in a reflective belt, hat or headlamp to keep you visible at night.

2) Carry a cellphone."Zombies, Run! immersive running game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android."

Many of us like our runs to be a daily technology detox, a time to escape the barrage of messages we deal with each day. However, if you’re running at night, from a safety perspective, a  cellphone is good insurance. Turn it to silent and throw it in a pocket. You can pretend it isn’t there unless you absolutely need it.

3) Bring identification.

We hope nothing ever happens to you on a run that leads to a need to identify you, but slipping a driver’s license into a pocket is a good idea, especially if you often run alone.

Map of running routes4) Tell someone where you’re headed.

If you live with family or roommates, call out over your shoulder the route you’re planning on taking and the approximate time it will take. This way, if you’re not back within a reasonable amount of time, your family or friends will know they might want to scan your loop.

5) Run a well-lit route.

Nighttime runs are not the time for off-roading on the trails. With lower levels of visibility, roots and stumps which seem obvious during the day become sprained ankles. You’ll feel safer if you run a route that is lit and well-travelled.

6) Stay in your comfort zone.

Darkness is not the time to try a new route. If lost in the dark, it will be harder to determine landmarks to help you towards home. There will also be fewer people out to offer directions.

7) Run with a friend. 

You’ll have more fun with a fellow night hawk anyways.

8) Run against traffic.814465-don-t-walk-new-york-traffic-light-pedestrian-stop-sign

Running so you’re facing traffic guarantees you’ll see whatever is coming towards you.

9) Ditch the music.

You’re already at a disadvantage from the darkness. Don’t impair your hearing with music.

Courtesy of Night Runner
Courtesy of Night Runner

10) Stay alert.

Be aware of what’s going on around you. Just because there’s a stop sign doesn’t mean a car is always going to stop. Stay alert to keep yourself safe.