It has been a while since we could afford to run late at night enjoying the late sunshine but, yet as the sun goes down, it gets darker. If winter nights do not scare you, running is quite possible … provided you are extremely vigilant and well equipped.
Cars, pedestrians, bicycles … if the day the runner is exposed to all sorts of dangers, so what about the night? … To avoid problems, it is important to respect the following rules.
Vigilance and proper clothing required
Any self-respecting mother once said to her child ‘be aware of cars! “. When we run the night or early morning, this advice is more relevant than ever. Also, avoid crossing roads, stay on sidewalks and preferably stick to well-lit areas. It may sound trite but an error of a motorist, especially after dark, can cost you a limb or your life. Always stand well away from cars and yield to their priority. Finally, follow a path that is familiar to you, it will save you from getting lost.
Once you have chosen your running spots, it is strongly advisable to be kitted with a headlamp and reflective clothing. These accessories are easy to wear and will alter anything in your vigilance. Bright running shoes are always a bonus.
Several guards are better than one
Running with a partner is ideal, especially if you are a woman, because venturing alone at night makes you vulnerable. Try to find someone willing to run with you and avoid remote or dangerous areas.
Despite this, if you do not feel safe, some accessories can be useful. A self-respecting runner should be equipped with an alarm. If you own a small cell phone, take it with you and save several emergency numbers in memory. If you do not have a small phone, consider taking a few coins or a phone card with you, in case you need to dial an emergency number.
We lose our bearings at night
Night and the dark has a strange effect on our peripheral vision`, it tends to reduce it. Long vision is also restricted.
Our normal balance is disturbed by all these changes, forcing us to change the way we run: our stride become shorter and the frequency of our leg movements become more important, to make up for this loss of peripheral vision and therefore our balance.
Ideally you should start running shorter distances at night till you get the hang of the rhythm and your environment, and slowly move up the distance.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you run safe, when running at night.