Running at Night: Benefits and Safety Tips
Running at night has its benefits, but make sure you follow these safety tips
Why do you prefer running at night? Do you work late and like to sleep in? Is your schedule during the day hectic and unpredictable? Maybe you prefer to breathe in the energy of the day as it comes to a close. Whatever your reason, running at night has its benefits. But like running at any other time, there are some safety tips to follow. Pro tip: as your miles increase, one of these running mantras could give you the spark you need.
1. Less foot and vehicular traffic
Running in the morning lets you absorb the sun and fresh air. But you also encounter cars, buses, cyclists, and fellow runners. This can make your morning run seem congested. Most people are at home in the evening, probably eating dinner or watching their favorite show. This means they’re not out riding their bike or driving their car.
2. Provides stress relief
Deadlines, office politics, and relationship management can make you feel like you’re carrying a mountain on your shoulders. Luckily, running at night can shave off that workplace stress. Let go of your frustrations and tension with every mile you complete. Laughter provides stress relief too. These hilarious running memes will brighten your day!
3. Increase running consistency
Are you NOT a morning person? Don’t let your morning blues stop you from following a training plan. Mornings aren’t the only time you have to complete your workouts. Running in the evening gives you another opportunity to achieve your fitness goals. Maintain full consistency when you effectively warm-up before running at night.
4. Improve your quality of sleep
Night runs are great for people who are thoroughly exhausted after their run. It helps them induce a deep and more sound sleep. If this is you, running at night could help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next day. Pro tip: even though you’re tired, make sure you properly cool down after your run.
Wear reflective clothing
Make yourself visible to pedestrians, other runners, cyclists, and oncoming traffic. The material on your reflective running gear will help others see you. You still need to pay attention to your surroundings, but being visible to others goes a long way to keeping you safe. For added visibility, wear a headlamp or lights that wrap around your arm or ankle. For a headlamp, check out the Black Diamond Spot Lite 200. Don’t forget to layer your clothing according to the weather.
Follow well-lit routes
Stick to routes with bright street lights and areas that are more frequented by people in the evening. Depending on the area where you are running, it will help you gauge your safety. You can see what’s going on around you and react to scooters, bikes, or anything else lying on the ground. With more people around, they can help you if you feel unsafe or need medical attention during your run.
Run against traffic
Run in the direction of oncoming traffic gives you the opportunity to see what’s coming at you. This allows you to react accordingly should you feel like you’re in danger. If traffic is behind you, you don’t have the opportunity to see what’s coming behind you. Your reflective gear and the car’s lights will help drivers see you. When crossing a street, look both ways, even if you have permission to cross.
Pay attention to your surroundings
As an avid runner, you’re likely going to be in that ‘zone’ and feeling good. However, you still need to keep an eye on your surroundings at all times. Watch out for dangerous situations or obstacles on your run. If you feel uncomfortable heading in a certain direction, turn around or cross the street.
Tell someone about your route
Before heading out on your run, inform your friend, partner, or roommate about where you will run. If possible, turn on your GPS location and share it with them. Let them know about your planned miles, pace, and anticipated return time.
Carry your cell phone
Don’t forget to take your phone. Apart from tracking your location, it can come in handy in case of an emergency. Most runners take their phone with them to track their run, get their analytics, listen to music, or all of those three. By having your phone with you on your run you can check a map if you get lost, call for help during an emergency, or tell a friend to meet you for drinks if you decide to stop running!
Do you plan on running at night because you’re not a morning person or it fits your schedule better? Keep it fun, safe, and exciting by following the tips and precautionary measures mentioned above. You’ll keep getting better as a runner and really enjoy the benefits of running at night. As you become more comfortable running at night, utilize these 7 tips to get the most out of your training.