Running at night can be dangerous if you don't put all the chances on your side. However, for those who want to train effectively and be in shape next spring, there is no question of not running just because it is dark. So as I gave you my tips for running in the cold, today I give you my tips for running safely at night! There's nothing hard about it, but you'll see that if you apply all this, running at night becomes much more enjoyable!
1 - Running at night is above all being visible!
It seems obvious but I still see a lot of people running at night in black, without reflective strips... So yes your best asset to be safe when you run at night is your equipment and accessories that can complete it.
Personally when I "switch" in winter and come home from work running through the city at night, I have a fluorescent yellow jacket. This is an imperative to be visible. You have had many choices in recent years where the safety of runners is particularly emphasized, particularly by Décathlon. I have a windproof jacket from Adidas, fluorescent with reflective strips everywhere, hyper visible, comfortable, sleeveless to be able to adapt to most night racing temperatures, in short perfect for me. Unfortunately this product is no longer for sale, I have certainly had it for more than 10 years! ???? Proof that an investment in a good textile is profitable, we no longer part with it afterwards!
I have found some equipment that I think is interesting for you. On the jacket side, the Gore R3 Gore-Tex jacket will kill three birds with one stone! You will be visible, also protecting yourself from the wind and rain of autumn and winter! In the end, if you have a tight budget, it can also be done very well with this reflective vest. It costs about twenty euros and can be added to any garment!
As for accessories now, we can also make a difference. Whether it is with gloves (see here), or a good hat (see here) or a good headlamp when you want to run in the forest or in low-light areas (see here or the test of this one with the extra rear light that makes 100% visible). Any last objects? A bright armband is really a good idea.
2 - Running at night means paying more attention!
No matter how hard you try to be visible, running at night will always be more dangerous than during the day. By default, we see much less well at night, so even a good driver, attentive will have more difficulty judging where you are, even more so because of the travel related to the race. Never drive by at the last minute thinking the driver sees you! On the contrary, when you go running at night you should assume that no one sees you and redouble your attention.
We obviously forget about the split in the city with streets to cross. If we can avoid having to cross over at all, it is obviously the ideal... In any case, we run intelligently and we put all the chances on our side by taking great care of our environment. Beware also of bicycles and pedestrians! If the accident will be less serious, they are less visible so be careful what happens on the sidewalks as well as on the road! The principle is to be careful for others. We always meet people who are not careful, we try to anticipate their actions as much as possible!
3 - Run at night on an adapted and/or accompanied course!
So no improvisation when you go running at night! This doesn't mean that you have to forget about trail rides in the forest in the dark night if that's your thing. But if you do this kind of thing, don't forget to have a good headlamp, make sure the battery is charged and make sure you know your route at your fingertips! It's also valid in the city, not too much improvisation at night! Because it's much easier to get lost at night... For that, having a phone with you can also be a good idea!
In short, ideally, at night you run on a route that you know by heart so no stress. When I say by heart, it is in terms of the path first that is known. Then safety by avoiding crossing a heavy traffic (run in front of the traffic to see what happens in case). And also safety in terms of attendance (especially if you run alone, a nice place during the day can be totally different at night).
Despite this, do not hesitate to inform someone close to you of your exit, your journey and your estimated time of return, you never know. And if you can run with a friend, or even better with a group, it's even advisable, especially for these ladies! As a bonus, it's often a lot of fun to run together! But before leaving....
4 - It will be necessary to cover you well
Another basic one, but don't forget that at night, the temperature is often much lower than during the day, especially if it was sunny. No natural heating with the sun's rays, no way to warm up. The goal is therefore... to never be cold!
Knowing that the night is mainly in winter that we practice it by running, so don't hesitate to take inspiration from my article on running in winter to leave with the right equipment. Clearly the difference between loving running at night or loving running in winter and not loving is in the equipment! I love running in winter despite the temperatures not to put a runner outdoors. Well equipped, the cold is no longer an enemy and you can enjoy the snowy landscapes with pleasure!
5 - Enjoy your night run!
Running at night is running in a different world. Less noise, less visibility, more feeling during the stride. If you run in very dim light, make sure you have a short stride to adapt to the terrain. Personally, I love the feeling of running at night.
There's no noise in a park, lit by the moon and we're running around groping! It gives the impression of running much faster than reality with all our senses fully awake! Be careful though, if running through the darkness of a park is pleasant... It's like driving a car without turning on the headlights... I only do it in a park that I know dearly because I've walked it hundreds of times over and over!
All this to tell you that running at night is different, some like it, others don't like it... If I prefer running during the day, I also find it fun to run at night, it's different and... it's running in the end so necessarily... ????