Here in the DC area, we’ve been dealing with a lot of weather change. This past weekend brought Hurricane Joaquin. Then the temperatures dropped to the 40s (it was just in the 80s I swear!), and now it’s dawning on me that it’s pitch black out until almost 7am 🙁
When you prefer to run outside, you have to be willing to adapt, and also have a few essentials that allow you deal with certain elements (read: this is permission for new running gear!).
While I could go on and on about my favorite wet or cold weather running gear, I think it makes more sense to discuss running when it’s dark outside. Why? Because it’s really more about safety. I grew up running on back roads with no side walk and no street lamps. The mornings I enjoyed the most were those that were clear with a full moon – so bright!
Now I live in an area where most roads have sidewalks and great street lamps, but I still have patches of my run that are dark. Here are a few essentials you’ll want to have to stay safe while running in the dark:
1. Headlamp: It’s goofy and you’ll look like a coal miner. Safety isn’t always about fashion. I actually hold mine in my hand and turn it on like a flashlight for those patches that get dark. You can always strap it around your chest. Either way, aim it toward the ground so you can see where your footing.
Recommended: (mine is black diamond brand) Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp
2. Reflective Gear: You can just buy a vest or there’s reflective tape you can put on a jacket you already own. Also, there’s a lot of clothing on the market now with built in reflective fabric. I recommend having something on both the front and back of you.
Recommended: Amphipod Reflective Vest
3. ID: Honestly, you should have some form of ID on you anytime you go running. I like the runner ids that go on the shoe because you’re probably not leaving without your shoes!
4. A friend: Why? If you’re running by yourself, you should always let someone else know that you’re leaving, what route you plan on running, and how long you plan to be gone. It will give you peace of mind and also your loved ones. And you can always use an app! There are a ton out there. RoadID has one and Glympse allows you to let someone know where you are.
What are your safety tips for dark runs?