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7 Tips For Running Late At Night

Updated on November 5, 2010

Running at night is a great workout. Some people like myself prefer to run at night for several reasons. It is cooler especially during the hot summer months. Another good thing about running at night is the relaxation of less people out. The roads are quieter since there are less cars and less noise to stress you out. Less cars on the road also means less pollution for you to inhale. With all the comforts aside, it is important to be prepared while running late at night. If you get too comfortable, you can get seriously hurt or even worse. You shouldn't prepare for a late night run the way you would for a day time run. Here are some running tips to follow during the late hours.

I live in a pretty shady neighborhood so I never take anything for grant. No one is taken lightly no matter how they appear. One thing I always do when I go out for a late night run is I carry my knife. Check with your state laws on what is legal to carry. I legally carry my blade with me everywhere I go but I double and triple check when I go out for a run. You never know what is going to happen and it's always smart to be prepared. Here's a tip when carrying a knife. Make sure you get a knife that is easy to deploy and make sure the blade is shiny. Do not get the knives with a stealth black coating. Part of deploying a blade is for intimidation. If you are cornered, you want to make sure the other person sees the blade. Be responsible when carrying a knife. I could go on and on about this but I'll assume you are mature an responsible enough to know the potential consequences from using a knife on a person. 

The next thing I make sure to do is where bright or reflective clothing. I don't worry about this as much as I used to but it's a good idea to be very visible so cars can see you. I have the new generation of Nike running shoe and I believe most running shoes have them now also. They have reflective fabrics on the back of them that increases your visibility. This is especially important when you need to cross the street. I've seen many cars that speed late at night and I can only guess that some of these drivers are intoxicated. Also beware of cars that do not have their lights on. Stay visible. Stay safe.

Do not, I repeat, do not wear head phones. Leave the tunes at a closed track with many people running or during the day. If you are like me and you like to run around the city, do not listen to music while you run. It may get boring but it's important that you stay alert. When your eyesight is handicapped, you must rely on your other senses. For late night running, your ears are the next best thing. Keep your ears opened for danger. It will help you hear cars and people. Likewise, do not wear your sunglasses at night. It's just common sense. 

When running, it's always a good idea to keep your pockets light. Only carry what you need. When I got out for a late night run, I carry my keys, some cash, and my phone. I leave the wallet at home. If you have a full keyring, consider making copies of just your house keys and carry those when you run. There is nothing more uncomfortable than running with tons of heavy objects in your pocket. Keep your pockets light and your focus will stay on the path ahead. Having a heaving keyring bounce around in your pocket is very annoying.

Prepare to sweat. When you sweat, it will get uncomfortable and you will want your clothes to dry off as quickly as possible. While this tip is not too urgent, it's a good idea to keep in mind. Try to wear as much synthetic materials as possible. Synthetics are lighter than cotton and they dry much faster. Cotton based clothing tends to get wet and stay wet while synthetics are lighter and will dry much faster. Controlling sweat and staying dry means more comfort.

The last thing I like to do when I got out for a late night run is get a running partner. Having someone to run with will cure most of these problems. It will be safer because of strength in numbers and you will have an extra set of eyes and ears to catch danger. It will also give you something to talk about curing the boredom a lonely run can cause. Having a running partner is great but it is definitely not required to enjoying a good late/early hour run. I've noticed while running with a partner, there is a tendency to look after one another. It may be something simple as an obstacle on the road or a fast moving car. Having a running partner is up there on list.

The main focus on enjoying a good late night run is be visible, be alert, and be safe. Don't let some of these tips scare you from running at night. For the most part, running at night is quiet, calming, and relaxing. These are tips are suggestions I give and  precautions I take when I lace up my Nikes. One last bit of advice. Be sure to run on well lit roads where traffic is frequent. Don't stray off back roads and alley ways. Remember to always use common sense. 

In summary:

  • Carry a knife
  • Be visible
  • Don't wear headphones
  • Run with light pockets
  • Wear synthetics
  • Run with a partner if you can
  • And use common sense !!!

I hope these tips help you. Thanks for reading and keep running!


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    • profile image

      john 5 years ago

      Great article, I love running at night. I also run with a knife, but that's because I frequently get chased by stray dogs or the dogs in peoples unfenced yards with unchained dogs. I live in the Mojave desert, so the night time is the right time, but being Amuurica, even the stray dogs carry weapons (called teeth) to mug unsuspecting freedom loving runners.

      Seriously though- the best advice here is TO NOT SWEAR HEADPHONES. I have worn them at night exactly ONCE. That same night I was cutting behind a truck as he passed to cross the road. I didn't hear the motorcycle right on his tail. I broke his handlebar off with my lower back and landed about 15 feet away in the middle of the right handed lane. He stopped, looked back, and then took off. I had to drag myself out of the road (through a pile of dog crap coincidentally) and wait for someone to come by. The hit and run driver was located walking his bike a few blocks away by the time the ambulance came. He's in the brig now since he was a Marine (as am I) Long story short- it doesn't matter how well you know the route, or how aware you think you are- headphones will distract you.It only took me once to figure that out. I now run in bright clothing and wear a Petzl headlamp with a red blinker strap to the back. Be Safe!

    • Set's All Set profile image

      Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England

      Jack. Please look at Kennesaw GA and Washington DC. Yea, it would seem logical that more knves, guns, etc, equal more crime, but the opposite is true. And the point of carrying a knife is not to pull it out and wait for your attacker to say, "ahh ha, I have a bigger weapon." If I'm carrying a knife, you won't know it. I'll use it if I have no other choice. Do some research.

    • profile image

      Jack 6 years ago

      While I agree entirely with your sentiment, carrying a knife isn't "common sense". If you took the time to look at statistics you'd see that pulling out a knife really isn't the best option, so many people get injured by their own blade, as most people who are intentionally looking to commit a crime against you are probably going to be better prepared than you are to use a knife and or firearm. By pulling out a knife you're just making a bad situation worse. As for brain-washing? Surely logic dictates if something is illegal there will be less of it as supply is decreased. Yes, there will always be people who do use knives and guns etc., but if you legally allow people to obtain them, there's a much greater risk that they will be used wrongly, it's just 'common sense'. Also Mr Rogers? Do you really think everyone in England lives in a dainty world of 'honest folk'? All we do is drink tea, play cricket and laze about in the sun. Jolly good stuff!

    • profile image

      Learn how to fight without a knife 6 years ago

      or, use it as self defense and you wont have a problem. if you're attacked (hit first and feel your life is endangered) you can use a firearm or whatever to retaliate, infact you usually wont have to worry about court, just call the police and tell them. that being said, nice blog, and everyone else reading this FUCK YOU!

    • profile image

      addictedjogger 6 years ago

      Lol good stuff!

    • Set's All Set profile image

      Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England

      Jon, STFU. This is an article about running. Not politics. And most people here know that already.

    • profile image

      Jon 6 years ago

      Yeah, you have 'more freedoms' yet carry a knife because of possibility of attack. Why would you carry a massive blade when going for a run? Your freedom, is of course, an illusion - your ass is actually owned by the US Govt. Do some research, look at the state of your country.

    • profile image

      Patrick 6 years ago

      Great post Robert!

    • Set's All Set profile image

      Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England

      Wow, lots of brainwashed trolls reading this.

      Guys, if you still believe everyone in the world is good, then disregard my advice. Otherwise, if you live in the real world, protect yourself at all time.

    • profile image

      A jones 6 years ago

      The worst piece of advice ever, what an idiot, please don't post such rubbish again...carry a knife! Wtf!! Get a grip you wimp, if you're that afraid don't go out in the dark

    • profile image

      Robert 6 years ago

      I carry a firearm and knife when out running. Does that offend you? Sorry your British government has brainwashed you into thinking that these tools just magically murder people. Your government does it to control you. Amazingly, the criminals still have illegal weapons in your country. Why do you think that is? Only the honest citizens who want to obey the law have been disarmed. Do you murder someone every time you get behind the wheel of a 4000lb car? I don't think so. Amazingly I have not murdered anyone while out running with a gun and a knife. I'm pretty sure if you "bump into me" you will be just fine. Stupid Libs.

    • Set's All Set profile image

      Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England

      Tynan, putting your music on speakers is a great idea! I may still be wary doing so. I don't like to attract attention, especially where I live.

      You make a great point about Law of Man. I love seeing people taking responsibility for their own safety. People that expect others to obey the law and be "good" are naïve. Bad people exists and will always exists. Carrying protection is just a way of keeping honest people honest. I'd rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

    • profile image

      Tynan 6 years ago

      Good advice!

      I run exclusively at night, and I must say, although I agree with a lot of your tips, I can't agree with running without music, though using earphones is definitely a no no at night! I find using a phone speaker in a bag on my back allows me to hear everything I need to hear, including my tunes ;-)

      To the geniuses: Even if a law tells you not to carry a knife, realistically speaking if you run at night and don't carry one, or some form of defending yourself, you're just a fool. The law of man is above the law of men, and let's see the law of men protect you from someone who doesn't abide by it. Doesn't matter where you live, "Common sense prevails".

      Oh, and I'm not an American, and being American or from anywhere for that matter, has nothing to do with common sense.

    • Set's All Set profile image

      Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England

      correlation does not equal causation.

    • profile image

      Olly 6 years ago

      Freedom seems to correlate with murder rates it seems. Guess repression ain't so bad. Otherwise good advice though - thanks!

    • profile image

      Luke Allen 6 years ago

      'common sense prevails here' - HAHA love this coming from an American.

    • profile image

      Max Lightning 7 years ago

      Damn bro I'm about to run outside for the first time in my life at night time. And now I'm just shook lool.

    • Set's All Set profile image

      Set's All Set 7 years ago from New England

      @ Seriously.

      Yes, I am American. It's true, we have a bit more freedom than you guys. Too bad. Anyways, there are legal limitation for different states. It just so happen I am legally able to carry a good folder while you Brits can only carry pen knives.

      By the way, I did say carry a knife. Not murder someone. Don't misinterpret my words. Over here, in reality, not everyone is Mr. Rogers so you can't expect to always run across honest folks. Thankfully, common sense prevails here. It's called being responsible and being prepared. If you have a daughter, how would you feel of she was running late at night alone in skin tight clothes? Use YOUR common sense. Cheers from reality.

      PS. bumping into someone with a folder is not going to kill them. Did you think I was talking about carrying a fixed blade steak knife unsheathed? Use common sense buddy.

    • profile image

      Seriously/ 7 years ago

      "Carry a knife" - yeah, get yourself a murder conviction due to a possible mistaken bump into somebody, for example.

      In the United Kingdom what you have posted is illegal, thankfully; common sense prevails here. I presume you are a Canadian or American blogger.

    • Teresa Schultz profile image

      Teresa Schultz 7 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Great tips - haven't run in a few years, but just earlier this week while waiting for my boys to finish their evening karate class (totally dark already) there was a sudden power line fault, spewing some sparks onto the road, and the electricity in the area was switched off for a while, until repairs to the line were complete. The next day my younger son's teacher came hopping into class. She's a fit runner and was training in the dark close to where she lives, (and close to where my boys were having their karate lesson) when the street lights suddenly went out, and she stepped into a pothole and tore some ligaments in her foot.


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