Reduce the Risks of Running in the Dark!

IMG_5837Darker days are upon us – literally. November 3 was the end of Daylight Saving Time, meaning colder weather and darkness around 6 p.m.  For me, shorter days are pretty inconvenient and confusing. I’m constantly wondering how it got so late when it’s not even 7 p.m., and I’m always distraught when I walk into a building during daylight and leave an hour later in total darkness.

Coincidently, November is also National Running Safety Month, and if you’re an afternoon runner, the time change probably disturbed your routine.  Running in the dark can be dangerous, especially if you live off campus, so if you can, avoid running at night. Wake up early and run before class or work, or head to the Campus Recreation Center and run on the indoor track or treadmills instead of outside.

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If you can’t avoid the darker hours, reduce some risks of running in the dark by following these tips:

Six Safety Tips for Running in the Dark

  1. Recruit a friend. If you’re going to run in the dark, avoid running alone. Run with a friend or join a running club.
  2. Tell someone where and when you’re going on a run. Tell your roommates or friends where you’re running. Also, Competitor magazine recommends iNeverSolo, an online service that alerts your friends and family via email every time you go out on a run, hike, etc.
  3. Always carry your ID and phone. Invest in an armband or running gear with pockets to hold your ID and cell. If you get lost or have an accident, you’ll want these two handy.
  4. Ditch the headphones.  You want to be aware of your surroundings and anything going on around you. If you can’t run without music, play it out loud.
  5. Run familiar paths or trails. You definitely don’t want to get lost or stuck in an unfamiliar setting in the dark.
  6. Be conscious of what you wear. Avoid traffic accidents by increasing your visibility. Do not wear dark colors, and wear reflective gear or lights. Additionally, avoid unwanted attention by always wearing a shirt if you normally run without one.
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If you don’t own a bicycle or running light, turn on the flashlight on your phone!
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Look for a reflective armband to increase visibility while keeping your phone, ID and keys safe!

Happy running!

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