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Many of us don’t have the luxury of training whenever we want. Most of us have to train first thing in the morning, or after we get off of work. However, according to the CDC more than 79,000 pedestrians are injured annually by cars, and the chance of being struck increases by 1,100 percent after dark! Those are some seriously bad odds.
Here are some tips for playing it safe when training in the dark from Brent Hollowell vice president of marketing for NATHAN Sports, and avid marathoner, and Nancy Rowe, vice president of marketing and communications for Milestone Sports. In addition, here’s our fave picks for the best new nighttime gear to increase your visibility from a distance.
Against the Grain
Remember this rule: ride with traffic, but run against traffic. Running or walking while facing traffic increases your chances of seeing a car before it sees (or doesn’t see) you.
If you run in busy areas, skip the headphones or only use one ear bud so you can hear what’s going on around you, even if you can’t see it. Staying alert to your surroundings and being aware of the full path in front of you helps prevent injury and accidents.
Run/ride with a partner for safety, or if you prefer to fly solo, tell someone when and where you will be going and what time you expect to be back.
Know Your Route
Getting lost at night five miles away from your house is no time to learn orienteering. Plan out your route ahead of time and do a dry run of it during the day to familiarize yourself before trying it in the dark.
Pick a populated route at night, staying away from dark alleys and dimly lit backroads.
Take Your Tech
Carrying your cell phone might seem like a hammer, but better safe than sorry. Also grab an ID and some cash — if something unexpected happens, you’re ready.
Weather Or Not
In the winter the weather can change quickly so check the most recent weather report before heading out.
Click here for our Nighttime Gear Guide for clothing and accessories with the latest night-bright gear.