Standard time is back. Yeah we get an extra hour of sleep and those who run in the morning couldn’t be happier, but what about those who run in the afternoon!? I guess there’s one really simple solution and that would be to run in the morning or in the middle of the day when it’s light out but sometimes that’s just not possible. Here are a few tips for running in the dreaded dark hours…
We’ll start with the obvious one and that is to wear reflective clothing! If you don’t have reflective clothing we highly suggest making that investment, it is much more comforting while running to know that a car can see you, it makes your run much more relaxed. We can special order a number of great reflective clothing pieces from Brooks. If you don’t want to make the investment into some reflective gear at least wear some light colors. Dark colors at night is a death sentence.
Run in well-lit areas. Bolton, Colchester, Tolland, etc. are not well lit areas. Stop on your way home from work and get your running in in Manchester, Vernon, South Windsor or some well lit area that has neighborhoods and sidewalks. At night it’s a good idea to use the sidewalks for running if you can. Know your route, or at least a general idea, nighttime running is not the best time to explore new routes.
Run against traffic. This is the rule regardless of time of day but it is especially important at night. It is much easier for a driver to see something coming towards him/her than something running away from him/her. The absolute only exception to this rule is when there is a very sharp curve and there is little room for a car and a person, then it’s okay to move to the other side of the road, but this is the only exception.
Remove your headphones, or at the very least turn them down so that you can hear the traffic as well. You don’t need to be blind and deaf, you already can’t see in the dark so using headphones is just going to make matters worse; you need to be able to hear what is going on around you. Few things are more frustrating for a rush-hour driver than an oblivious runner on the road.
Bring a light or headlamp. This is perhaps the most important tool you can have. The headlamps that are now available from EMS, REI and places like that are very powerful, you can go mining with these things. They will help keep you safe and seen on just about any road. I recommend the blinking setting because it keeps drivers on the defensive but any setting will work.