True night owls understand that sometimes a moonlit run is necessary. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of lacing up your favorite workout shoes, setting your fitness tracker and filling up your water bottle before heading out to get some exercise while the rest of the world is sleeping. The same goes for early morning runs where you’re up and active with the sound of birds chirping and the morning dew to keep you company.
When running in the dark, it’s important to keep your safety in mind by taking the proper precautions and being aware of your surroundings.
For Kristin Stokes, a Philadelphia-based marathon runner and coach, simply having your cell phone on you and letting someone know when you’re out are essential steps in protecting your well-being.
“On an iPhone, there’s an emergency setting where you can set up a safety option. You can add contacts to it and just pull it out while you’re running if you don’t feel safe,” she said. “You just press the side buttons a few times and it actually will call them and send them a notification with your location and say that something’s wrong.”
(You can find more information on Android phone emergency settings here.)
Cars can also be a threat to runners at night because of poor visibility, but there are ways to make yourself stand out.
In addition to being aware of your physical proximity to vehicles, Stokes and Brooks both agreed that you should also do what you can to help drivers see you, which includes being intentional about what you’re wearing. Reflective gear, lights and other personal safety accessories can help with increasing your visibility in low light.
We asked Stokes and Brooks to share the items they use frequently when they go running in the dark. Check them out below.
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