Author: Benita Willis | February 7, 2018

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With winter approaching and the days getting shorter, fitting in a run before or after work often means dealing with darkness. Whilst this can seem daunting to many runners, darkness is no reason to ditch the run as long as proper safety precautions are taken. Here are five safety tips for running in the dark to keep in mind this winter.

  1. Don’t run alone

There is always safety in numbers, so joining a running group is the best thing you can do during these winter months. Running with a group will significantly decrease the chance of you getting lost or attacked and it will also make the whole run a lot more enjoyable. It also means that you will never be left stranded if you get caught up in an accident and there will always be someone to help.

  1. Wear bright clothing

Make yourself as visible as possible to cars, cyclists and other runners! Save your black running gear for your daytime runs and opt for fluorescent and reflective clothing instead. For extra visibility and to help you see better, carry a torch or strap some lights to your clothing.

  1. Run in familiar and well-populated areas

Stick to routes that you know like the back of your hand, because it is so much easier to take a wrong turn or to lose your footing when it is dark. Also, it is very important not to run somewhere secluded. Running in a busy area will ensure that there will be people to help you if you have an accident and will also reduce the chance of you being attacked.

  1. Leave the music at home

Whilst many runners may enjoy listening to music, it is essential that you are 100% aware of your surroundings while running in the dark. Since the darkness will restrict your vision, you will have to rely on your ears to detect approaching cars, bikes and other people. Listening to music will prevent you from doing so which is why it is so important to leave your music at home.

  1. Carry your phone and personal identification

The chance of you tripping and hurting yourself or having any form of accident is much higher when it is dark and you cannot see where you are going, so it is always better to veer on the side of caution. Keeping your phone on hand will ensure that you can call for help in the case of an emergency, and it also means that if you get lost then you can just turn to your GPS for help.