5 Tips for Running in the Dark

5 Tips for Running in the Dark

Tired of short sun days and living in the dark?

Winter can feel a little bleak when we head to the office, only to return again, you guessed it – in the dark.

On these cold, black mornings and evenings, we are faced with a dilemma: work out in the dark, head inside to exercise, or skip it.

If you choose to work out at the gym then excuses should never be an issue. But what if you prefer the outdoors? Then don’t let the dark intimidate you – there are safe ways to still get your workout in and get the added benefit of fresh air.

Here are some tips for exercising outdoors in the dark:

  1. Join a group or enlist a buddy to work out with you. There is safety in numbers and the more the merrier.
  2. Get a good flashlight or headlamp and make sure you have batteries that are charged. It takes some getting used to moving quickly in the dark and accepting a limited range of vision to work from, but a good flashlight will give you ample illumination to move comfortably.
  3. Let your feet catch up. Most people will slow their pace or shorten their stride in the dark to allow for less of their senses filling in details. When your vision is limited, your feet need to be more attuned to the surfaces they’re touching and given a bit more time to interpret the results.
  4. Be ready for a better upper body workout. In the dark, your arms will be working just a bit harder. This is to allow for a change of balance when your brain is working with information that depends on eyes less and feet more. So swing away and strengthen those arms at the same time!
  5. Wear reflective clothing – shoes, gloves, jackets, pants, and hats all come with reflective strips and will up your visibility to others, especially cars. There is nothing worse, as a driver, than to see a pedestrian darting into or out of your car’s path, at just the last moment.

The good news:

With a little planning ahead, you can keep exercising outdoors, even during the darker winter months. You may even feel exhilarated by the cool night air!