This past summer I finally committed myself to become better at running and to get over my absolute hatred of it. I thought that it would be a torturous experience but soon found out how much I love and enjoy running when I can run at a gait that is comfortable for me and that I can endure for a prolonged period of time. This summer I also found myself looking for ways to beat the Texas heat when I wanted to take my running sessions outside, and discovered that running in the evenings was the perfect time and was the perfect temperature outside. Running in the evenings can be scary and even dangerous when the proper safety precautions aren’t taken so here are a few tips that I know helped me during my few evening runs.
Be As Visible As Possible
Since it’s already dark outside you don’t want to wear dark clothing that will make you blend in with the night instead wearing bright colors, and reflective gear such as a reflective vest, or reflective shoelaces ensures that you will be seen. Having a headlight or a flashing light is also a good idea, it helps you see what is in front of you as well as ensures other vehicles see you.
Choose Familiar Routes
Stick with routes and areas that you are familiar with, there’s nothing worse than getting lost and not knowing where you are and being unable to find your way back and having to rely on a stranger to guide you. Stick to running around your neighborhood and close by your house just in case it begins to rain or you need to head back early it’s best to know where you are and close to your home.
Making sure the route you choose is well lit is another important factor, this helps to improve your visibility as well as helps you see where you are going and keeps you aware of what all is around you.
Keep the music at home
I rarely recommend wearing headphones when you are road running and having to deal with traffic since you need to be aware of what is going on around you at all times but the evening time is especially not the time to wear headphones and listen to music. You need to be able to hear if a vehicle is blowing their horn at you, or if there is someone following you. For safety precautions leave the tunes at home.
Run with a friend or group
Finding a group of people that share your passion for running in the evenings is a great thing since there is power in numbers and increases your safety.
Travel light but include the essentials
A few important things that you should have on your person during your evening run is your ID, cellphone, and a travel size pepper spray wouldn’t hurt especially if you are choosing to run solo. Wearing a longer sleeved shirt or a running jacket and running tights is helpful since it can get cooler during the evening times and you want to stay comfortable during your training session.