6 tips for running at night


Dark, windy, cold & wet… Autumn and Winter running in the UK doesn’t have quite the same excitement as going for a lovely jog on a summer’s evening. 

It also comes with a few additional safety considerations, but to keep that momentum up throughout the chillier weather (because your fitness shouldn’t have to suffer because it’s a bit darker), here are some tips:

1. Plan your routes

Choose a few different routes that are well lit, and easy to navigate. Also plan where the nearest train stations, shops and landmarks are, should you need to cut your run short.

Don’t risk getting lost, and venture into an unknown neighbourhood with running home the only option.

2. Leave the headphones at home

Your perfectly selected upbeat soundtrack can be the best companion when you’re hitting your stride. However, do be aware of how you might miss hidden dangers and hazards (like traffic) when you’re out and about.

Avoid music when you’re running alone, it’s just not worth the risk. We’ve also heard that in some cases using broken headphones (ie with one ear bud working), also does the trick.

3. Hi Vis is your friend

While Sweaty Betty and Lululemon head to toe is the ultimate in fitness chic, wearing all muted colours while out for a run at night isn’t the best plan. 

A head torch and some bright, reflective, hi vis clothing will help maximum visibility. Also look out for leggings, tops and jackets with pre-built in reflective strips. We know, it might look a bit like you’re setting up to go potholing, but it’s better to look slightly lame but be seen, than the other way around.

Then you get to save the trendy gear for the gym!

4. Find some buddies

There will be local running clubs nationwide for all levels that you can join, sometimes affiliated to a gym or sometimes independent.

If you’re not up for something with so much structure, perhaps you can cajole a friend to come along with you a few times. Running in pairs is more fun, but not always possible with busy schedules, of course!

5. Take your phone

Send your loved ones a quick text before you head out and tell them roughly how long you’ll be. Open and turn on One Scream before you leave too, just for peace of mind, so you can focus on hitting your stride and doing your best.

6. Stash some cash or a card on you

Or even better, your contactless on your phone. Just in case you hit the wall and can’t face running back in the other direction, or an area that looked ok on the map turns out to be not so great, you can hop on a bus home.

Victoria Scally