Now the clocks have turned back, there’s a good chance that from time to time you’ll end up doing your run in the dark. Although it’s not without risks, there are things you can do to make sure you run safely and there are some advantages to after-dark jogettes.
Wear bright colours. Yes folks, dig out that lovely neon yellow race top you’ve been longing to wear but didn’t dare to for popping into town. Lots of running gear have reflective strips in them nowadays. Fellow Jog Oner Dave, from Berkhamsted Sports shop, offers a variety of luminous items and all with a 10% Jog On discount.
Now you are reflective you can also be lit up like a Christmas tree. Well it is that time of year. There is a massive range of things that light up, flash, green, red, bright or a dull light. They can attach from your ankles, to waist, chest, head, arms. Make sure you can be seen 360 degrees whatever you’ve got on. There’s a mind boggling range available online. For most however, a simple reflective bib is perfectly adequate, although you could also use a head torch if part of your run is not so well lit up.
Just before it does get dark be aware oncoming motorists may be temporarily blinded by the low sun and not see you. So if your shadow is long, with the low sun behind you, stand out the way of oncoming traffic if you can. Stick to populated areas that are well lit and preferably go with a friend. There are a variety of personal panic alarms available online that you may feel safer with if you are on your own. Run on the left side of the road and don’t be tempted to plug those earphones in. Be aware of motorists and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Let someone know you’ve gone out for a run and give them an idea of when you’ll be back. If you live alone maybe even send that person a picture of your neon LED outfit. Who knows, you might even feature in their Christmas cards.
Types of running
Some types of running are better suited than others to the dark. Personally I find a tempo run a little trickier, particularly when the lighting is not so good or the pavements are very uneven. It helps it you are really familiar with the pavements where you’ll be running. It’s always preferable, if you can, to save those long, slow, chatty runs for the light when you can enjoy the scenery and find a café at the end of it. However, if it’s the only time you can fit this type of run in then get your neon lights on and go for it! Hill reps are perfect for a quick training session in the dark (I can almost hear you cheering at the very thought). Yes people, warm up well then bang out 6-10 hill reps on your favourite slopette. You’ll be glowing by the end of it!
Don’t forget, because the evenings are cold, make sure you warm up well and factor in a decent cool down as part of your run.
The very thought of going out on a freezing cold evening is enough to make you back away from the front door and turn up the heating. Put it in your calendar, get yourself ready and outside before you’ve had time to think about it! Layers are key here – a thermal running top, t shirt/long sleeved top, jacket. Don’t forget the all important hat (we have Jog On beanies for sale!) and running gloves. They really do make a difference.
While it’s not easy running in the dark, it does bring some advantages. It’s cooler for starters so no overheating, there is something fun about running around with headtorches and of course, you can enjoy your run knowing there’s little chance anyone will recognise you!
So Jog Oners, you don’t need to spend a fortune but you do need to think about being seen and some safety issues. Don’t be shy, dig out those neon leg warmers and dress them up with flashing lights and reflective strips before you head for the hills!