Run Safely in the Dark

Running in the dark can be perfectly safe – and fun – as long as you put a little forethought into your choice of gear and running trail. Leave the earbuds at home, lace up, and get going.

Light Up the Night

Putting on a lightweight headlamp makes you instantly visible to vehicles and other trail users, and it helps you see where you’re going, too. Angle the headlamp bulb slightly downward to strike a good balance between overall visibility and being able to see what’s coming up under your feet. If you’re worried about animals on the trail (you might be surprised at what furry things you come across on a night run), watch out for the characteristic shine of your headlamp reflecting off their eyes in the dark.

Shiny Is Good

Once you know what’s going on under your feet, making sure others see you coming is the best way to stay safe on your after-dark runs. You can buy almost any type of running gear — from leggings to jackets or shoes — with reflective panels or piping on them. The second a biker’s headlamp or a car’s headlights shine on you, those patches will illuminate brightly. Light-up gear is another fun, practical way of making yourself more visible in the dark. From light-up shoelaces and small lights you can clip into your shoes to flashing LED wristbands or headbands, that extra touch of light helps eliminate nasty surprises on the trail.

Choose Your Route

If you do your running on a well-lit route, you can get by without all the reflective or light-up gear we just mentioned, but it’s always good to err on the side of high visibility. You should always have a headlamp along at night, just in case. Choose your route with safety in mind. Once it’s dark out, you’re usually better off running with a buddy or sticking to populated areas so that if you have a problem, someone will be around to lend you a hand.