Guest writer: Peter Minkoff, health and fitness writer for That Indie Runner.
There are two kinds of runners: the ones that wake up at dawn and start their day full of energy and the ones who prefer running when the sun is far beyond the horizon. Day-time runners have it easy – all they need to do is wake up early, put on their running gear and get on the track. Night runners, however, must consider a great number of things, if they want to be safe. The usual tips to avoid the risks of nighttime running are to always run against traffic, run with a partner, wear bright colors, run behind the vehicles on intersections, and, of course, don’t wear headphones. Still, one can never be too cautious, and to increase your safety, you should have the following gadgets.
If you are running in the dark, especially if you are alone, you are exposed to numerous threats, including being attacked by a stranger, dog, or hit by a car. A personal alarm will help you alert others that you are in danger. These gadgets are compact and functional, and if you decide for some of the athletic options, you can have adjustable wrist straps.
A Compact Pepper Spray
Warnings can sometimes come late, and it would be best to have some means of protection with you. A compact pepper spray will fit in the palm of your hand, and you can acquire one with an adjustable hand strap, which will make it easily accessible and functional.
An alternative to the previous item, pepper gel eliminates the wind blow-back because of its formulation, which makes it more precise. An adjustable hand strap enables simple accessibility, so you can feel confident that in a risky situation you will be prepared to react quickly.
One of the most important things during the night run is being seen. Bright running clothing can be helpful, but it’s not enough. Make sure you are highly visible by wearing neon running shoes, reflective belt and use iron-on reflective tape for clothing so that you can be highly visible, no matter what you’re wearing. That is much more useful and versatile than simply wearing a reflective vest.
Another important thing in night run is for you to see. Knuckle lights are a great alternative to uncomfortable headlamps. They’re designed to be worn on the hands, which makes them perfectly positioned to both light your path and make you visible. The fact that the light moves along with your arms, only makes it easier to track.
It's easy to get lost in the dark. Carrying a smartphone with GPS installed is one option, but it’s not very efficient to carry your phone in your hand while running. A better alternative can be found in the form of a GPS wrist watch. There are plenty of such products available, but you should look for the one that has an option of sending your exact location to your contacts, via message.
Running at night can, when the weather gets a bit chilly, require much more than your regular running outfit. Sweating and drying at low temperatures can cause discomfort and give you a cold. Try to minimize those risks by wearing moisture-wicking fabrics. There are workout clothes that are lined with reflective panels or sewed with reflective thread, so you can use them to further improve your safety.
The lack of sunlight shouldn’t deter you from going on the run, but you should do your best to stay alert and take all the precautionary measures. All of the mentioned gadgets can be used together to make you both safe and confident.
Follow Peter on Twitter.