For those of us who work 9 to 5 (or 6) jobs, it makes sense to jog or run either in the early hours of morning or at night, after work and dinner. The fact that temperatures are lower also makes running in the evenings a lot more pleasant. However, running after dark does come with certain risks and here are some tips on how to stay safe while pounding the pavement.
Always Run Against Traffic
Whether it is a busy road or not, always run against the traffic. Especially at night, drivers would not be as cautious as during day due to misconceptions that there would not be many people at night. By facing the traffic, you’ll be getting a clear view of oncoming cars in case you need to perform any last-minute, evasive manoeuvre.
Run in a Safe, Well Lit Area
Get to know your neighbourhood and avoid areas that are known for crime or with lots of trees and bushes where someone may ambush you. If you see someone lurking on the sidewalk ahead of you, find a way to cross the street so you don’t have to run right past them, or just turn around. If you can’t find any safe place, the best option is to head to the gym with the treadmill.
Ditch the Earphones
Wearing earphones while working out at a gym is not something to be concerned of. However, while running on the street is definitely not advised. According to a study, incidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones hit by cars and trains have increased threefold in the past six years. The worst part is that in 70% of those incidences, the runner or walker was killed. Nevertheless, you can always play your music with a single earbud so that the other ear can hear incoming cars or other vehicles.
Wear Bright Reflective Clothing
It’s difficult for drivers to see runners in the dark, so don’t make it harder on them by wearing dark, non-reflective clothing. It is advisable to wear bright colours, preferably with reflective material or tape so that you stand out as you run. There are plenty of neon, light-reflecting run apparel and shoes designed for the night-conscious runner.
Run with a Buddy
While running solo is a way to connect with mother nature, it is best to bring a buddy along for precaution. Rather than spending time at the club, practice a healthy lifestyle as you can socialise while running. Apart from that, they can be an extra pair of eyes and ears. And this will drastically reduce the risk of someone accosting you. Not only that, pairing up with an exercise buddy can also boost your motivation and consistency. This can definitely help you become a better runner or simply improve your fitness leves.
If you feel that you’re entering an unsafe situation, trust your gut and run to a safe location. Call the police if you notice anything suspicious. Make sure that you follow these tips because nothing is more important than your safety. Stay safe and happy running!
Photo Credits: Triathlon Magazone, Soul rest, Runner’s Blueprint, Very Well Fit, JD Sports