At some point in their training journey, many runners discover the joys of running at night. Soon after, they uncover its benefits. Some see night running as a de-stressor, while others simply like that it works with their schedule. Many claim they are more in tune with their body when running at night, and some simply enjoy the peaceful combination of cooler temperatures and quiet atmospheres.
Whatever the reason, night running remains popular with athletes of all ages and skill levels. However, as wonderful as running under the night sky can be, it’s important to note that running at night can be risky with the low light and lack of visibility. Staying seen is the key to safety. Let’s look at a few tips to remember while night running and go over the gear you need to stay visible and safe.
The Importance of Visibility
Staying visible is one of the best things that you can do for yourself while night running. This not only improves your safety, but it can also ensure the safety of others. Especially if you are running on the road, staying visible will let oncoming vehicles see you in plenty of time to avoid you. An easy way to make yourself visible while running at night is to wear reflective and high-visibility gear. This way, if a vehicle comes by, you will stand out against the low lighting and reduce your chances of getting into an accident.
Practical Tips for Safe Night Running
Run With the Right Lenses
Good vision is critical, but it’s not only the vision of motorists and other runners that matters. While running after dark, you need to ensure that your own vision is taken care of. Rudy Project’s innovative ImpactX® lenses feature photochromic technology that adjusts to lighting conditions to filter glare (of oncoming headlights) and offer a sharper, more comfortable view of your running environment in low-light situations. Our transparent lenses provide the same visual enhancements and advanced technology as our traditional lenses without limiting your vision while you put in miles after the sun goes down.
Use Lights for Night Running
Personal lights are also an excellent tool for keeping yourself visible and helping you see what’s in front of you, but running with a handheld flashlight can be tedious. Luckily, there are high-quality, hands-free options to choose from. Headlamps are a popular choice with runners, especially lightweight models that offer a variety of light settings. If you’re not a fan of headlamps, chest lights are another excellent option that many runners find more comfortable. However, if you prefer a light that’s not just limited to a head or chest mount, you can always use a clip-on light that attaches to your waistband or pocket. The options are numerous. The benefits are clear.
Dress To Be Seen
No, this isn’t fashion advice for celebrities or online influencers. Reflective, high-visibility apparel can help you stay safe and visible in low-light running conditions. Rudy Project’s hats and running shirts come in a variety of bright colors that help stand out from your surroundings — even at night. Wearing bright, visible apparel and adding reflective vests, gloves, leg bands, and arm bands can also increase your chances of being seen on the road at night.
Choose High-Visibility Footwear
In addition to your other reflective pieces of gear and high-visibility apparel, your footwear offers another effective way to enhance your safety at night. Every little bit helps, and since your feet are always moving when you run, adding reflective accents like reflective laces and clip-on lights can give you just what you need to catch the eye of motorists or fellow runners.
Essential Safety Tips for Night Running
Now that you know the type of gear needed for safe and visible night running, we need to talk about a few other aspects of night running safety. First, it’s crucial to plan your route. Try to avoid high-traffic areas, and if possible, try to stay on well-lit sidewalks. Stay aware of your surroundings and the people around you, and obey traffic rules wherever you are. If you have another running friend, it’s also a good idea to run with a buddy. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to carry identification, your cell phone, and some kind of protection, such as pepper spray, with you as an added layer of safety.
With all the benefits that running at night offers, it’s important for runners to take the proper precautions before hitting the pavement after the sunset. By staying visible, wearing reflective gear, and planning ahead, runners can safely enjoy night running for years to come.
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