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Tips for running safely at night this fall

It’s fall, and sadly, we are losing light for running and all outdoor sporting adventures by the day. But that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. It just means we need to take the time to prepare properly. To that end, here are some essential tips for running at night this fall.

Be seen

Wearing reflective clothing is a classic for night running and for good reason. It’s essential. One of the biggest risks of road running at night is automobiles, and reflective strips work well for alerting motorists of your presence. Most light jackets, many running hats and tights, and even shoes will have reflective strips of some sort. If not, it might be time to invest in a jacket that does have them specifically for night running.

Beyond reflective strips, there are also lights one could attach to clothing, backs of caps, and hydration belts. There are also slap bracelets that work well and even LED running waist belts.

There are plenty of options so make sure to get something that works for you.

Watch where you’re going

Although being seen is key, actually making sure to see where you are going is kinda big also. Ideally, one should be running in well-lit areas, with bright street lights, that sort of thing. But, that’s not always going to happen, and for that reason, a good headlamp is an essential and fantastic item for fall night running.

There are plenty of great products out there, make sure to invest in something with a good battery that is easily rechargeable.

Here is a gear review Get Out There conducted with headlamp models from two of the best-known brands.

 Bring your phone

Not that you’d ever leave it at home, but yes taking along a phone is a no-brainer when running at night. If any issues come up, it’s easy to get help, call a taxi, or order a roadside pizza. Most smartphones are also equipped with emergency features such as sirens and calling emergency services, as well, simply by holding down a button. But, be sure not to use the phone to play music. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings while running at night. Stay alert, now is not the time to vibe.

Find a friend

Running at night can be a bit more lonely than at other times of the day, so it’s always a good idea when possible to bring a running buddy along for company. There is safety in numbers, and having some fun with a friend is also a good way to ensure a regular outing. And that’s a win-win. Also, consider joining a running club and take advantage of organized group runs in the evenings.

The right route

Plan a safe running route ahead of time. Map out areas that are well-lit, busy, possible touristy areas or somewhere there is likely to be people out on the streets. But, don’t run through the club district or anything. That’s an entirely different set of hazards.

Eat earlier

Heading out for a run after a late dinner is challenging at the best and brightest of times, but combining the relaxing post-meal mood with nighttime is a recipe for turning on the TV and zoning out for the evening. Don’t do it. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, and make sure you have plenty in the tank for running but don’t plan to eat and run.

Map it

Use a running app such as Strava, which can allow live tracking just in case so family and friends can see where you’re at if you go off route.

Cool down

Plan for what happens after a night run. Your body might be craving certain things, but try to avoid that post-run beer or binge snack. Cool down with a hot shower, some stretching, deep breathing exercises or light yoga poses.

Sleep.

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