Five Tips for Safe Nighttime Running for Women
Is the only time you have to fit running into your schedule before the sun comes up or after it goes down? Or maybe you enjoy the thrill of running when it's dark outside? Either way, safety is of utmost importance, particularly for women. Unfortunately, news stories about women runners encountering dangerous situations when they're out for a jog or training in the dark have been around for decades.
You don't have to let fear prevent you from enjoying a nighttime run; however, you need to be prepared. With the following tips, you'll be able to run safely even when the sun is down.
Always be Alert
Zoning out is easy to do when you’re running. Instead of thinking about what’s for dinner, what you need to do tomorrow, or how you’re going to tackle an upcoming project, however, make sure that you stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings. Being aware of where you are is one of the easiest ways to avoid a dangerous situation, such as a run-in with a parked car or an ill-intentioned person.
Stay on a Familiar Path
Nighttime is not the time to explore new locations; save exploring new trails or trying out a new route for daylight. When it's dark out, make sure you keep to a familiar path, somewhere that you've committed to your memory. That way, when you come up to a corner, a building, a sign, or even an unsuspecting individual, you'll know exactly how to move around it. While staying on familiar paths is highly recommended, you should try to have a couple of those familiar paths that you can rotate through. Run a few different routes that you're familiar with, as doing so will allow you to avoid anyone who may be trying to predict your whereabouts.
Go Against the Traffic
This rule should apply for daytime running too; always go against the traffic. When you're facing oncoming traffic, you'll not only be able to see what's coming your way, but it also allows motorists to get a clear glimpse of you. By going against the traffic, both you and the drivers will be able to stay out of one another's way.
Make Yourself Visible
If you're running after the sun goes down, make sure that you're still visible. Wear brightly colored gear, compete with reflective materials; shirts, shoes, and shorts, for example, can all be found in neon colors with reflective strips. You may also want to consider sporting a headlamp or a lightweight lamp on your back. By making yourself visible, you can alert vehicles of where you are so that they can avoid crashing into you.
Nix the Headphones
Listening to music is undoubtedly enjoyable when you're running, but it can lead to danger at night. You don't have to forego your favorite tunes altogether; play them out of a speaker that isn't directly in your ears instead of using headphones.
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