Tips for Running Outside in the Dark

With winter upon us, there are less hours of daylight which has a big impact on a runner’s life. In the summer, most people can easily fit a run in in the daylight either before or after work. But with the sun not rising until after 7am and setting before 6pm many are stuck with just 2 options – running in the dark or running on the treadmill. The treadmill is always my last resort, I find it mind numbing and totally dread treadmill runs. But running in the dark can be dangerous. Today I’m sharing my top 5 safety tips for running outside in the dark!


  1. Wear Reflective Clothing  – Whether it’s a light up vest, a reflective jacket, wear something so that cars can see you. I wear this reflective vest and wrist bands by Scotchlite.
  2. Carry a Light – I wear these lights by Knuckle Lights which slip right over your fingers for you to hold right at your knuckles. They are really bright and light weight, you barely notice them. You can set the light to on or to flashing depending on your preference. Another option for a running light is a headlamp, I’ve never run with one, but when I see runners with them they are easy to spot!
  3. Run with your Phone – I always run with my phone, mainly because I like to listen to music or podcasts while I run, but also for safety. This doesn’t pertain only to when it is dark, but if you get injured, lost or just too tired you can call for someone to pick you up.
  4. Tell Someone Where you are Running and When – Again, you should do this any time of day, though many of us don’t, but especially when you are running in the dark be extra conscious of making sure to tell someone you are going running and where generally you plan on running.
  5. Check the temperature – Especially in the winter, check the conditions before leaving the house. It is tricky enough to navigate running in the dark, never mind if it is icy on top of that. If it is below 40 degrees and it has rained or snowed in the past few days, chances are there could be icy conditions. I don’t know about you, but slipping on the ice in the dark is one of the situations where I choose the dreaded treadmill over running outside!

And it you are going to bring your furry friend along with you for a run in the dark make sure they are also protected! Layla has this light up harness by Noxgear. It is very bright and you can change up the color!

Happy Running!

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