Throughout the midwinter months it’s tempting to imitate the habits of our good friend the grizzly bear and hibernate till spring. But, shorter days mean longer nights – the perfect time to get out there and indulge in a little night running. Here’s what you need to know:
Invest in a torch
Yes we know that sounds a bit obvious but a head torch will make the difference between an enjoyable evening jaunt and a tripping traipse over the terrain.
A decent one will set you back anywhere between £30 – £200 but once you get out there in the pitch darkness you’ll be thankful you made the investment.
Tree roots, potholes, the occasional bewildered badger; start with routes that you know quite well and then branch out to avoid any unexpected foot falls in the dead of night
Sound advice for any runner who likes a jog in the dying light; be seen with gear designed to catch the eye – not least the eyes of motorists when on those country roads.
Our favourite bits of kit include compression tops with reflective strips, snap bands, light spurs, and neon running shoes & jackets. There’s even reflective spray paint in a can to modify your existing gear.
Embrace your inner-werewolf
Time your running session well and you can swag a moonlit run. Depending on how clear the sky is, bright moonlight can even negate the need for a head torch and always makes for some atmospheric landscapes. Great if you run with your other half – you romantic you.
Learn to get lost
You’d be surprised how different the terrain looks and feels on your night run and obvious landmarks can be missed altogether. Prepare for the worst case scenario if you do take a wrong turn by letting a friend or family member know roughly where you’re headed before you go and take your mobile along too. Better safe than sorry.
Get layered up
Without that golden, warming sunshine effect, an evening excursion means a colder run. As such, you’ll want to layer up effectively to keep those muscles and joints nice and snug. What was a glorious, starry night when you left the house, can take a turn for the worse and suddenly become a cold, wet, war of attrition between you and mother nature.
It’s great training for Night Races
If obstacle runs are your thing why not take them to the next level? Deerstalker, Nuclear Blackout, and Reaper are among a whole stack, all of which offer challenging night time equivalents to their daytime races.
Feel the speed
You probably take for granted quite how much your vision strongly controls how you run in the day. Being on a a night run, your reduced vision makes you rely a lot more on lower level control. That means you feel the ground a lot more, and employ a degree of ‘locomotion’ to your stride which actually makes you feel faster!
With work done and dusted for the day, you’ll feel better about heading out without having to worry about the clock, and making it back to be in time for work. You’ll be more relaxed and, psychologically, feel better about your run and yourself.
One of the best runs you do
Who says your jogs have to be boring? As soon as the sun starts to go down get your running shoes on and head out into the dark unknown. You’ll soon find that a night run is the only way to end your day right.