Running in the dark

18 Nov

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. I’m an after work runner, which can get pretty frustrating this time of year when the sun is already setting as I leave work.

Here are some things I do to try to keep running outside through the increasing darkness in the early evenings.

  • I wear the Streak reflective vest from Nathan Sports. I love it because it’s light weight, doesn’t get in my way, and is super duper reflective. The hubby even drove by me one time when I was running in it and he said it creates almost a halo effect around me, making me super visible.
  • Wear lighter colored clothing. It’s more important to be reflective, but I figure every little bit helps.
  • I’ve modified my typical running route to include more streets with sidewalks and street lights. My usual route requires running on the shoulder (in a bike lane) for 75% of it. In the dark I would not feel safe doing this at all, so I’ve adjusted my route to go through more residental neighborhoods with sidewalks and street lights. It’s not my favorite route and is somewhat limiting but I figure I’ll only have to put up with it for a short amount of time.
  • I go out to run the second I get home. Literally, walk in the door, change clothes, put on running shoes, out the door. I try to make use of as much of the sun light as possible before it gets dark. At this point in the year only about the last 5 minutes or so of my run are super dark. Of course this will increase throughout the next month or so.
  • Tell the hubby where I’m planning to run. I typically do this anyhow, but its even more important at this time of year.
  • Keep weekday runs shorter, around 30 minutes.
  • Run longer weekend runs mid-day so that planning around sunlight isn’t an issue.
  • If all else fails, run on the treadmill. I haven’t done this much yet, but I know it’ll come down to it at some point. I get bored of the treadmill easily though, so I’m going to avoid it as long as I can.

If you run, walk, bike or do exercise outside in the increasing darkness, how do you cope?

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One Response to “Running in the dark”

  1. amanda @ There Are 2 Sides November 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    I have the same vest, plus some straps to put around my ankles…plus I try to stay out of the streets…it sucks though, I do miss the daylight.

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