Running in the night can be refreshing but also scary with recent news of runners being either assaulted or abducted. In California, there is still a lady missing from her run a few weeks back! What a crazy world we live in right? In the past when I've ran at night, I've always taken the necessary precautions to stay safe. This year, I feel like it is necessary to step up my game. Here are some of the items I highly recommend if you are going to venture out for a run in the dark:
Yes, I can see why you might think it may be a bit too much. But when it comes to running safety, you just have to be very cautious. For example, the neighborhood I live in has practically no street lights so it is very dangerous if I go for a run without any reflective gear or LED lights. As for the pepper spray, it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. In all the years I have been running I have only had to use my pepper spray one time. It was a bit scary but I am glad I had it handy.
There are other things you can also do in order to make sure you are safe when you go out for a night run. Always make sure you tell someone where you are going. That way they have a general idea of when to expect you and most importantly let them know your running route. When I moved to Fresno, I didn't live in the greatest neighborhood. The house was in a newer development but it still had some sprinkled sketchy areas around me. Every time I went for a run (night or day), I would tell my roommates exactly where I was running and what time I would be back. They knew to come looking for me if I didn't come back. Even if they weren't home I would leave them a note detailing them the time I left, my running route, and expected time back. Now a days if you have an IPhone you can use the app Find My Friends to find your friend's exact location in case of an emergency. Of course you have to allow that person to see where you are at. For safety reasons only my husband has authority to "find me." Also a very important thing to remember is to try to run without headphones. Running at night does require your full attention so any additional distractions can be unsafe. Luckily I have some really amazing wireless headphones that go on the outside of your ear so you can still listen to all surrounding noises as well as listen to your favorite tunes.
Basically anytime you head out for a night run, make sure you stay as safe as possible. Try to run in very lit areas and know your surroundings. I know during the winter it's tough to motivate yourself to run while it's dark but if you are deep in your training you just can't use daylight savings as your excuse to not run. Running must go on, so stay safe out there my fellow runners.
Other places you can find me:
I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons