Stay Visible At Night While Running
There are a lot of benefits to running at night. For one, running in the heat of the day is exhausting and can be extremely uncomfortable. Many people also run at night because they simply do not get time during the day. Jobs are more demanding and often work needs to be completed before you go home for the day … or night. Some people simply prefer running at night because there are fewer distractions.
Unfortunately, running at night is not without its risks. This can be especially problematic if your usual running route takes you along poorly lit roads. Your only safety net is your ability to be seen by motorists and other passersby. There’s no need to miss out on your nightly run. Check out our 10 ways to stay visible at night when running.
1. Stick To Roads With Street Lights
If you really love to run at night, choose routes that are well lit with street lights. In many cases, you may be able to stay off the road and stick to running on the sidewalk. If this isn’t an option, just keep your running confined to the side of the road. Keep your eye on traffic. You will see cars’ headlights long before the drivers can see you. This will give you more than enough time to make sure you are not in harm’s way.
2. Wear An Illuminated Running Vest
Technology has caught up to the needs of athletes and one incredibly simple piece of equipment is a running vest with built-in LED lights. This device is easy to put on over your upper body, and once it is in place, you can turn on the LED lights and go. The lights are quite bright so you will be seen and the vest itself is lightweight so you’ll barely notice it.
3. Avoid Dark Colored Clothing
Those black running pants and t-shirt may look amazing, but consider your color choice for running at night. Drivers will have a hard time seeing you in the dark in the best conditions, but if you’re decked out from head to toe in dark colors, it’s going to be almost impossible for a driver to see you until you’re practically sitting on the headlights. Opt for light colors in bright shades what will quickly attract attention.
4. Get Some Reflective Gear
The manufacturers of sporting apparel understand the need for safety. Runners, in particular, are at risk at night because they are difficult to see. Thankfully, you can get some great looking gear like running pants, jackets and even hats with reflective stripes. These reflective stripes are barely noticeable during the day, but at night they reflect light from cars and street lights making the runner quite visible. If you are a regular night runner, you should have a few pieces and wear them together for maximum visibility.
5. Light Up Straps
If you’re looking for a wearable light fixture that is easy to use with any workout outfit, get yourself some reflective or illuminating wrist bands and arm or leg straps. These are generally inexpensive so get a few. Strap them on to your arms and wrists and you can even put them around your ankles. Just strap them on over your running socks and you’re ready to go.
6. Let Your Feet Shine
Shoes that light up when you walk or run have been around for some time now and running shoes that light up in any way are a great way to alert drivers that you’re on the road. Some of these running shoes only feature a light-up sole, but many newer ones have the ability to light up the entire foot in a brilliant light show of color. If illuminating shoes aren’t your thing, stick to your favorite running shoes and add reflective laces. Check out our guide to the best trail running shoes for women as well.
7. Get Your Own Headlights
Flashlights come in all shapes and sizes so you can certainly take a flashlight with you when you run. Great for lighting your path, but not very practical for running. You can always get yourself a little flashlight on a headband. These are lightweight and as they are worn just like any ordinary headband, they won’t interfere with your strides and your hands are free too. Think of them as headlights for humans.
8. Sports Caps With Lights
Not everyone likes headbands so if caps are more your deal, you can get caps with tiny LED lights attached to the visor. They normally feature four lights. Two shining at your feet, and two lighting the road ahead. Not only will this type of cap make it easier for you to see where you’re going, but it’s also will make you very visible to drivers as well.
9. Knuckle Lights
Another great invention for night runners are knuckle lights. These are simply lights that almost resemble small hand weights with a strap. You clasp them over your knuckles, switch the lights on and off you go. Most of these knuckle lights have a number of different light settings so you can choose the best illumination for yourself.
10. Opposites Attract
One of the biggest mistakes made by rookie night runners is that they run on the same side of the ride as drivers do. That way, approaching traffic is coming from behind where it’s going to be really hard for the runner to see a car and get out of the way. Always run on the opposite side of the road facing oncoming traffic. The drivers can see you more easily. And more importantly, you can see them.
Safety when running is crucial, but even more so at night. Aside from being visible, you also need to be aware of your surroundings. You may love listening to your favorite tunes when you run during the day, but don’t plug in those headphones at night. Your sight is already impaired from the dark, so you will need to use your hearing a lot more.
Enjoy your night run, but stay safe.