Use these suggestions to stay safe when the sun goes down.
Daylight savings is ending soon and before we know it, the sun will be setting long before we got off work to get in an evening run. If you are more scared of running on the treadmill than running in the dark make sure you follow these seven safety tips to stay safe when the boogieman is out.
1. Light Up The Dark Streets
The most important thing to remember when running in the dark is to wear safety lights that can be seen from in front of and behind you. “I'm always amazed at the amount of runners I pass in my car that aren't wearing anything to enhance their visibility,” said Atlanta-based running coach, Carl Leivers. “The reflective material on most running clothes just isn't enough. Wear something designed for the job.” Headlamps are terrific as they are hands free and can come with lights on the front and back of the headband. Other options are wearing knuckle lights, wearing a headlamp around the waist or simply carrying a flashlight. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
2. Run Facing Traffic
“Anytime you're running on the roads, remember to run facing traffic,” Leivers said. “It's important all the time, but even more so when you're running in the dark!” Photo: www.shutterstock.com
3. Choose The Right Route
“Always chose a route that's traveled by cars [and run the route] during the day to familiarize yourself with the road surface,” explained Hollie Kenney, an Austin-based triathlon coach. “Look for breaks or steps in the street you could potentially trip on, low tree limbs you could easily run into or glass in the road, etc. Avoid roads without a shoulder, always keep your eyes on oncoming cars, and [run on the sidewalk] if there is one.” The sidewalk may be harder on your joints, but in the dark it is a far safer option for staying out of a driver’s way. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
4. Carry A Cell Phone
In an emergency, or simply if you get injured or lost, having a cell phone can be a lifesaver. “Always take your cell phone. Now a days, we can easily carry a phone in our fuel belt, so it’s convenient,” Kenney said. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
5. Carry Your ID
No one plans on accident during a run, but it is always best to be prepared. Carrying an ID on you can be your most important piece of gear in an emergency situation. Carry your drivers license or wear an ID tag such as those made by Road ID or Yikes ID. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
6. Wear A Hat
During the day a hat protects you from the sun, but at night it can be just as helpful from the blinding headlights of cars. “Tilt your head down when a cars headlights are blinding you,” explained Steven Tally, a coach at the San Diego Tri Club. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
7. Ditch The Tunes
Wearing headphone to listen to music is a nice distraction from the monotony running, yet it also is a distraction from the things going on around you. At night our ability to see what is going on around us decreases, so it is important to have a heightened sense of hearing. Photo: www.shutterstock.com