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5 Tips to Run Safely at Night

Updated on June 28, 2014

Five Tips to Run Safely At Night


For fitness buffs like running enthusiasts, safety is of utmost concern. Here are five tips to run safely at night that must be taken into consideration.

Running outdoors in the dark has always been dissuaded by many national running advocacy organizations. However, days become shorter during fall and winter. With the limited hours during the day and schedules becoming busier, you are likely to sweat it out in the darkness of nightfall or early morning. Besides, running in cooler temperature is more comfortable. Thus, make sure to follow the five tips to run safely at night.

Running Path and Apparel

Running Path

You must choose a running path that is familiar, close to home and well-lighted for maximum visibility.Stay in areas with sidewalks and crosswalks. Aside from vehicles that may threaten the safety of runners, other obstacles or hazards are present out there. You may accidentally run into a sign post or trip over a pile of rubble. Mostly, it is in the dark and secluded areas where crime happens. Stay away from unpopulated areas like side streets and back roads. Change your run route and time schedulefrom time to time. In this way, potential attackers would not be able to study your routine. It is also advisable to inform a family member or a friend of the time when you are about to run, the approximate length of time it will take, expected time of return and the area where you will be running.

Running Apparel

You will become more visible to passing vehicles when you wearwhite or bright-colored clothes like yellow or orange. Do not wear colors like green, dark blue, brown and black. It is best to wear clothes with reflective patches. Most sports stores and running specialty shops carry nocturnal runner-specific reflectorized apparels like belts, jackets, vests, shorts, ankle bracelets and arm bands. Wear clear eyewear as this will protect your eyes from insects and other impending harm. Note that heavily-tinted lens wear hinders vision in the dark. Also, it is recommended for you to wear billed cap.Before hitting your head, the bill of a cap will provide protection for your head from hanging tree branches and other obstacles.

Accessories, Guidelines, and Safety

Accessories

It is necessary to carry any form of identification bearing your name, home telephone number and blood type. A fully-charged cellular phone and a distress whistle may come in handy in case of injury or emergency.A small can of pepper spray may be used in case you encounter a wild or stray animal or an assailant. The use of a headlamp or headlight ensures that you see the path you are treading and let other people notice and see you. Some headlamps available have a blinking strobe light in front and blinking red light at the back as added features.If you find wearing headlamps uncomfortable, you may bring a flashlight instead.

You should have no headphone or headset on so that you will be more aware of the surroundings. As visibility is already limited at night, you cannot afford to have any more distractions. It is important to hear the honking of oncoming vehicles, become aware of people or other potential threats you may encounter along the way. But if you really prefer to wear a headphone while running, turn the volume low. Better yet, wear only one earphone so that you can still hear the noise around you.

Running Guidelines

As a rule of thumb, run against traffic or run by facing oncoming traffic.By doing this, you get a good view of oncoming cars, taxicabs, buses, motorcycles, bikes and other forms of transportation. In addition, run behind the vehicles when at the intersection. Keep in mind that while vehicles pause at a stop sign, the driver may not be aware of your presence. Make sure that you have established eye contact with the driver to determine that he sees you prior to crossing the intersection.

Buddy System and Self-Defense

Occasionally or on a regular basis, a runner would prefer to run solo and at his own pace. On the other hand, running with a companion like a human or a canine friend will make perpetrators think twice before targeting you as a victim. Always trust your gut feeling. If you feel unsafe, run in a well-lit and populated area. If you sense danger, you may bring along some self-defense accessories that you may use to combat your offender. The pepper spray and the distress whistle you carry will also serve as good defensive tools. Of course, nothing beats the preparations that you made before running and confidence that you exude while running that will discourage troublemakers from assaulting you

Always try to ensure and think of your personal safety when you go out for your regular run. Take note and try to follow the five tips to run safely at night. Hopefully, the five tips to run safely at night will encourage you to engage in, continue with and never abandon evening runs.


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