Yup, that's right! Summer is over with we're back to cooler temperatures and running in the dark as the bright mornings have come to an end and the darking evenings are drawing in. But don't let the darker days stop your exercise routine. There are plenty of tips and tricks to boost your motivation all throughout winter.
For too long, I avoided running in the dark. The earlier winter sunsets are the perfect excuse to stay curled up inside. However, nothing beats the fresh just-finished-a-workout feeling, so I'm proud to say I've beaten the winter blues through movement.
Are you looking for some extra motivation to run in the dark? Make sure you prepare safely! Explore our top tips for autumn and winter running below.
6 Top Tips for Running In The Dark
Get your notepads out! Here's all you need to know before your late (or early) run to stay as safe as possible.
1. Wear Reflective Clothing
Reflective running gear is a must for any low visibility running. Without these on-trend pieces, you'll be invisible and potentially in danger from oncoming traffic. So, restock your winter running wardrobe now with our top picks.
For fashionable reflective running gear, we love:
- Under Armour OutRun The Cold Tights - Designed for cold weather and low visibility, these durable leggings provide a brushed interior and a reflective pattern. Wearers won't want to take these cosy leggings off!
- Nike Slim Waist Pack 2.0 - Want to add a reflective element to your running wardrobe without re-buying clothes? This slim waist pack from Nike gives you extra storage and the signature reflective swoosh design
- Goodmove Reflective Padded Zip-Up Running Jacket - If you don't already own a running jacket, it's time to invest before the temperatures plummet. This pick provides breathable comfort with additional reflective strips for low-light sessions.
- On Weather Jacket Lumos - Ready to invest in a forever piece? The Weather Jacket Lumos by On might not be the cheapest, but this wind-proof and ultralight jacket will keep you safe for years of running. Plus, the jacket offers a signature reflective design for night-time jogs.
- Adidas X-City Running Crewneck Jacket - Forget zip-up jackets, the crewneck is here for constant comfort. Our top pick for crewneck fans is the X-City jacket by Adidas. This design offers a fusion of on-trend print design and reflective running gear. Ideal for fashionistas on the go.
2. Be Bright, Be Seen
As we approach winter, it's tougher and tougher to complete a good run while the sun's out. This might be daunting for some, but it's easy to adapt your workouts for darker evenings. From bright running tops to bold HOKA shoes, making yourself stand out is the goal.
Get prepared with reflective running gear and start running in the dark ASAP!
3. Choose a Well-Lit Route
While dressing well is important, you can also improve your running in the dark experience with a well-lit route. Bypass dangerous trip-hazards and stick to well-lit streets in low-light conditions. That means trail runners will have to kiss the forest goodbye, but it's better to be safe than sorry!
4. Run Against Traffic Flow
Thanks to streetlights, roads are the ideal sport for night running. But you'll also have to navigate new obstacles - cars! The best advice for road running is to run against the traffic flow. This ensures all oncoming vehicles can see you, making it as safe as possible.
5. Take Your Phone
Though some runners desire to get active tech-free, taking a phone on your dark runs could help you in the event of danger. Honestly, we think runners should always take a phone just in case, and there are plenty of ways to do so!
From the Nike Lean Armband to the Adidas Handy Running Case, running in the dark can be safe and optimised simultaneously. Plus, you can snap any wildlife you encounter!
6. Run With a Friend or Join a Running Club
Not feeling too confident about running in the dark? Don't face your fears alone! Many running clubs across the UK are designed to connect runners of all abilities. Consider asking your friends to join too. You never know. One of your besties might have a secret running habit!
What Should You Wear For Running In The Cold?
Once you've worked up the motivation to take on the cold, ensure you're dressed for the occasion. Like running in the dark, running in the cold requires specific gear to keep you safe. The focus is more on warmth here, but reflective running gear can complement winter runs.
When running in the cold, the aim is to cover as much skin as possible. Typically, runners suggest a base layer and a long sleeve jacket or vest on top. Choose your top layer depending on the severity of the weather. Add thicker running leggings and long socks to keep your lower half warm.
Don't forget a pair of running gloves or a hat to finish the outfit! Being prepared is better than being cold.
Is Running In The Morning or Evening Better For You?
The best time to run is a conversation that divides the community. Some swear by an early morning run, and others find an evening run is a perfect finish to a stressful day.
Morning runs help to boost your mood for the rest of the day, lowering your cortisol level before you're even at work. Running early also prevents anything from stopping your run. No overtime or evening drinks will keep you from getting a good workout here.
Alternatively, many runners feel stronger when they run in the evening due to the food ingested over the day. Your body temperature also peaks in the evening, meaning your muscles are ready to work out.
So, which is best for you? Well, only you can decide! Finding the best time to run will depend on your schedule and body. If you're unsure, experiment with different times and stick to what makes you feel your best. Life’s too short for an uncomfortable run.
Will you be taking on the running in the dark challenge? When autumn and winter arrive, runners have to adapt their routines to the new climate. You'll be good to go, as long as you have trusty running shoes and reflective running gear!Find more top-rated running pieces on our online store.