Nighttime running has its advantages, but it also requires extra safety measures. Before you set out on your nighttime run, make sure you're dressed for the occasion and have taken all the necessary safety precautions. Here are five things to include on your list of must-haves to keep yourself safe during a night run.
Most of us have grown used to having our phones on us around the clock, but it becomes critical during a night run. Your phone serves multiple uses; you can use it as a flashlight if you're having trouble seeing the sidewalk or path you're running on, and it also can provide maps if you're uncertain of the area or lose your way.
A tracking app such as ASICS' Runkeeper is a great way to keep track of your progress but can also let others in your friends and family see where you are — which means they'll be able to tell if you've gotten lost or are off the designated path.
A phone is one of your best safety tools, as it allows you to call or text someone if you feel unsafe or experience an injury and need help. And, if someone is waiting for you, you can let them know if your run is taking longer than planned. Before you head out, make sure you've decided how you'll carry it.
Supportive Running Shoes
The conditions that accompany nighttime runs create a greater chance for injury. In the dark, it's harder to see uneven terrain or an object on the path in front of you. Getting more supportive running shoes, such as the ASICS GEL-KAYANO® , can provide greater stability that helps keep your footing firm even when the terrain you're on changes suddenly.
Wearable lights are a great way to see your surroundings during a night run, and they also make you more visible. Today, there are many different kinds of clip-on or wearable LED lights that ensure you'll be seen as you run. And, to give you a better view of your surroundings, wearing a headlamp allows you to keep your hands free as you run while still improving your visibility.
Bright, Reflective Clothing
As important as it is for you to be able to see where you're going, it's equally important for others to be able to see you. Invest in bright reflective clothing that can easily be seen. The ASICS LITE-SHOW line of reflective running gear provides jackets, tights, shoes, and more that will easily be spotted in low-light conditions. Reflective stitching on your apparel and reflective material on your shoes add to your safety.
The more reflective items you're wearing, the greater the likelihood that you'll be seen. Consider adding items such as reflective armbands and belts to further reduce your risk during night runs.
Head and Eye Protection
Low-hanging branches, bugs, and other surprises can cause serious damage during a night run. Wear a cap with a bill so it will hit any unseen obstacles before that obstacle has the chance to hit your head. Clear glasses or goggles will protect your eyes and keep bugs from flying in them or keep you from catching a branch or other object in the eyes.
More Safety Precautions for Night Runners
In addition to having the right gear for your night run, there are other safety precautions you should take as well:
1. When you're running after dark, run with a buddy whenever possible. When that's not an option, always let someone know where you're planning to run and what time you expect to be done. Set up a quick check-in so they'll know you made it home safely and have an action plan of what they should do if they don't hear from you. Or use Live Tracking on your RunKeeper app and have one or more of your family or friends keep track of you while you run.
2. Always carry your ID with you. This is a good idea anytime you run but is particularly important at night. Accidents can happen and, if you're injured, it's important for medical workers to be able to identify you quickly.
3. Leave the earbuds at home. Music may be motivating while you run, but it can also prevent you from hearing traffic, people approaching you, and other important sounds. If you can't stand the silence, listen to an audiobook or podcast — you're more likely to be able to hear outside noises.
4. Stay in populated, well-lit areas. If you can run in areas that are busy after dark, you're solving a few challenges: It will be easier to see where you're going, others will be able to see you more easily, and you should be safer overall.
With the right gear and the right precautions, nighttime running can be a great way to fit in your favorite form of exercise at a time that suits you best.