The nights are drawing in and the mornings are getting darker. For us runners, it's important we do all that we can to be safe when running in the dark. Here's everything you need to consider to help you stay safe, be seen and enjoy running through autumn and winter.
Not only will the below give you some peace of mind, these tips and tricks will also help other pedestrians or road users to see you too.
When it comes to being seen at night, bright funky colours and patterns show up more easily and clothing with reflective details reflect light back to the light source, almost seeming to 'flash'.
Wearing reflective clothing will ensure you are seen by cars, cyclists with lights as well as other runners.
As well as helping you to be seen by others, running lights also light the way in darker areas so you can see where you are putting each foot. A favourite classic with runners is the headtorch, but you can get running lights that clip onto your clothing or bag, or wrap around your arm.
Bone conducting headphones
It's advisable to be aware of your surroundings and hear what is approaching you when you are running in the dark. Rather than give up listening to music or podcasts completely, why not consider treating yourself to some bone-conducting headphones. These sit outside of your ears and generate mini vibrations that travel through your cheekbones directly to your inner ears. As the sound is not pumped into your eardrums, you can still hear the outside world around you!
Run in lit areas
As well as wearing reflective clothes and head torches, why not plan your route around well-lit, busier areas. It may not be as peaceful as hitting the trails but with more people around, you are less likely to become a target.
Meet with friends
Meeting with friends is always a fun idea. Your runs will fly by if you're chatting and catching up and having company means you're more likely to get out the door in the first place! Running with friends in the dark means you have an extra set of eyes to see any hazards and you are less likely to be approached. Plus two sets of reflective clothing are better than one!
Run against the traffic
When running in areas that are poorly lit, always run against the traffic! This is so that you can see any vehicles approaching you or potential dangers coming your way. If you're facing the traffic, you will be able to move more quickly out of the way if you see them first.
Garmin assistance alert
Many Garmin smartwatches now have Incident Detection and Assistance features built-in. This can be set up by adding emergency contacts in the Garmin Connect app. They are triggered either by pressing a button on the watch to discreetly send a message to your contact for assistance or in the case of an incident will detect a sudden deceleration or impact.