This weekend it’s time to set the clock in wintertime for us here in Sweden. It’s getting so much darker and the difference to summer can be sometimes brutal. Suddenly it feels like the darkness is surrounding us, and so much easier to find excuses not to go for that run that will strengthen your body and nurture your soul.
So here are our tips on how to stay safe, running in the dark.
- Go with companion, run with a partner or with a dog or join a running group.
- Ditch the headphones or wear only one earbud. Keep the volume low to make sure you will be able to hear if some trouble approaching.
- Carry a Cell Phone so you can get in contact if something happens.
- Vary your routes and time. Follow your instincts and take the route that feels safe. 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.
Most frequently asked questions about running in the dark
What gear should you use for running in the dark?
When running in the dark, wear clothing suitable for the weather, whether it's hot, cold, or rainy. Make sure your exterior layers are light-colored and feature reflective elements. If it's completely dark, include lights as well: a headlamp and a light-up vest, for example.
Is running late at night bad for your health?
Running at any time of day can be great for your health, so long as you don't overdo it and follow all the safety precautions. While there is not enough evidence to confirm that running late at night is bad for you or that it could disrupt your sleep, some research shows that vigorous late-night exercise may cause an elevated heart rate during the first few hours of sleep.
Lights or Clothing
At the end of the day (or at the very start of it!) you just want drivers to see you when you’re running in the dark. The more you make yourself seen, the better. That might mean wearing high-vis and reflective gear and carrying a light or wearing a headlamp. You can make that decision depending on how dark it is, and whether there are sidewalks or streetlights.
While any light will make you more visible to cars, a blinking light can be more attention-grabbing. Placing a light or reflective gear on moving parts—arms, feet, ankles—will also alert drivers that you’re a moving object.
Keep on running, in day light and in the dark. Bringing you power, not slowing you down.