I love fall! It’s my favorite season for so many reasons – jeans and sweaters, crisp morning runs, crunchy leaves …..
Don’t believe me? That is the exact start of a post I wrote last fall.
However, I think that I need to amend my statement. Or rather just add an asterisks. I do love fall, but I do NOT love it when the sun does not rise at 5am. I would even take 5:30am! I am a morning person and I love running and biking in the morning. BUT – I don’t always love running (and NEVER) biking in the dark.
But – it is a reality that is hitting in the morning already and soon it will be dark at 4:30pm. Meaning – a lot of us will be running outside in the dark. Ugggg …. So what are we to do? The treadmill is always an option – but what about staying outside and trying these tips instead:
This could be reflective stripping on your shirt, shorts, shoes, etc. Black is my favorite clothing color choice – but I’m always amazed when I see people wearing all black when running in the dark. Save the black for daytime and go crazy with color in the dark.
Light It Up!
Lighted vests and/or headlamps will not only help you see the road better (even if there are streetlights) but drivers will be able to spot you better. There’s a ton of different models available. To be perfectly honest – I do not own one, but it is on my list! I have heard good things about the Black Diamond headlamp.
Before you take off on your run, let someone know where you are going and what time you plan on returning. It is also helpful to that that person know the route you are planning to run. It only takes a second to send a quick text or leave a note. Just be sure to tell the person when you return!
I always take my phone and some sort of ID with me. J and his dad have a RoadID bracelet that look pretty cool … maybe we all should invest in one of those.
You won’t believe how many people I see running with headphones in the dark. Even if you have one earpiece in, it’s still dangerous. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. J got a set of Aftershokz for his birthday and he loves them. He can hear his music and still hear what is going on around him. I might have to try them out and get myself a pair. (Or should that be on my Christmas list?)
If possible meet up with a friend. There’s safety in numbers. And if you think you run too early, you might be surprised to know how many others are in the same boat as you. You might check with a local running club if your friends don’t live close or they don’t run.
Look Both Ways!
Don’t assume cars see you. Crosswalks, especially those regulated by stop signs are the worst for runners. Drivers will pull out in front of the stop sign looking for cars, but often look right beyond runners. Always make eye contact with the driver before you step off the curb.
Now – I would never suggest that you actually be a defensive person. But – be a defensive runner. Assume every driver is talking on the phone while drinking steaming hot coffee and tuning the radio.
So – don’t give up your running just because it is dark! Try these and let me know. Or if you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments.
Move your body, put good things in and ENJOY every day!