Night Running Safety Tips
Most runners like to take to the streets when it's quiet. You might prefer the cool early mornings before your neighborhood wakes up or the inspiration found in running late at night. You may like to run all night or have a favorite route to take after dark. However, the one thing that all night and pre-dawn runners should know is that safety is essential.
It's important to protect yourself from the known risks associated with running at night. Protecting yourself from injury, road hazards, and other humans takes just a little more forethought when running in the dark. Fortunately, you and the thousands of other night runners in your city and across the world can share a few tactics that will make everyone's run a little safer.
Here at FlipBelt, we've known many night runners and have innovated a few solutions of our own to the challenges they face. If you love to night-run, we'd love to share some running safety tips we've learned.
1) Run with One Earphone
Running with music is awesome. For many of us, the beat of the music is like an extra engine that can power a harder, steadier workout in any circumstances. Of course you want to take your running music along, but only in one ear. Any time you are running outdoors where traffic and the activity of others may impact your environment, keep at least one ear open.
If you have wireless earbuds, only put one in. If you have wired earbuds, clip the unused piece to your collar or tuck it inside your FlipBelt.
2) Use a Waist-Level Running Light
Night running is much safer with a light to reveal obstacles on the road. This can help you see curbs, rocks, tree branches, turns, and other risks that might turn your ankle or require a safety decision as you approach. A headlamp can create glare in your eyes and sharp shadows that minimize your ability to react. A better approach is a running light clipped to your waist.
FlipBelt has two great options. First, a battery-free LED safety light that clips to your belt or clothing and flashes on the power of your stride, and the rechargeable FlipBelt Running Light that fits neatly into your FlipBelt for waist-level illumination and a safer nighttime run.
3) Wear Reflective Clothing
It is unfortunately true that about 70% of pedestrian accidents happen between 6PM and 6AM. Those who run late at night or early in the morning are the most at risk. The best way to minimize that risk is to wear highly reflective clothing. Reflective strips increase your visibility and cause you to glow when area lights or vehicle headlights touch your clothing.
FlipBelt makes it easy to stay reflective with two reflective colors available in your FlipBelt design.
4) Tell a Friend Your Planned Route and Timing
Anyone who runs long routes should tell someone where they are going. Day running or night running, you are more likely to be rescued after an injury or mishap when someone knows your running schedule and favorite routes. There are several ways to set up this safety net for yourself. You can post your running schedule on the fridge, share your routes on a runner's app, or just send an email to a good friend so that someone knows where you'll be.
You can also take your phone with the GPS features turned on. While your FlipBelt ensures you don't have to worry about losing your phone on a run, that GPS can also ensure that you can track your routes and will be easy to find in an emergency.
5) Keep Your Hands Free & Self-Defense Ready
If you will be running through neighborhoods that are not 100% lit and patrolled, run with self-defense in mind. Everyone should feel safe to run in their local neighborhoods, and personal readiness is part of what makes that possible. Use your FlipBelt to keep your hands free and clip useful self-defense items for quick access on the belt.
If you are running through an area that makes you uncomfortable, simply palm a cylinder of pepper gel in one hand and your personal alarm in the other. With these items, you can startle most attackers with time to get away.
6) Stick to Paved and Lit Areas on Urban Routes
If you are running in towns and cities, choose public routes with good lighting. Stick to open roads with street lights and quiet residential neighborhoods. Avoid alleys, cluttered roadways, and any commercial area or neighborhood that makes you uncomfortable. Try to remain in well-lit areas and avoid places where the pavement runs out.
7) Carry Signal Gear on Trail Routes
If you like to run local nature trails or head into a nearby park, make sure you have signal. Carry your phone and check it's single strength along your routes to ensure that you could call for help if you needed to. A personal alarm can create a very loud noise if you are out of sight but still nearby other homes or businesses. If you like to go far, carry a strong walkie, a cell signal booster, or even a flare to make sure you can contact assistance, if needed.
If you enjoy night running. FlipBelt is here to make every route easy and enjoyable. Whether you need a water bottle that nestles comfortably into the small of your back, reflective strips to ward off traffic, or a waist-level light to properly illuminate the path, we've got you covered. Contact us today to learn more.