Night time running: adventures in the dark

The Wolfpack 100 is a 48 hour event starting at midnight giving entrants the opportunity to run at night if they’d like to as part of the challenge.

Night time running can be a lot of fun, a micro-adventure in itself, especially on a clear night when the stars are out. Plus it can sometimes be imperative during the winter months too. I thought I’d put together a short blog post for those new to night time running for maximum enjoyment and safety. 

A head torch 

While it is possible to run without a head torch at night, especially in urban areas, running with a head torch not only makes you extra visible to others, it gives you extra assurance of where you are going. Quite useful! 

If preferred you can always just switch it on when needed too, say for an area without street lights or to make yourself visible, but to be honest it doesn’t cause any issues just having it on.

This is the head torch I have, the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp. It needs AAA batteries, but it is a decent price and best of all waterproof so I have used it for night time obstacle course races a few times without issues.

The Wolfpack 100 crew have also recommended:

Don’t forget to take spare batteries or battery pack if you are going for a long run.

Reflective clothing 

Reflective clothing is essential to ensure you are being seen, especially when crossing roads.

Most running brands will offer high visibility reflective gear. Proviz Sport has a good range of clothing, and checkout True Sapien too (Wolfpack 100 entrants can message us for discount). You can also buy high viz running straps that you can wear over your gear.

Stay safe when running

I really enjoy running at night, it does feel strangely exhilarating, especially when it gets late, but you do seem to get some extra idiots out and about the later you are running. I’ve had drunks try to keep up with me (they didn’t) and only at the weekend someone decided to honk their horn for 5 seconds on a quiet road as they passed me (FYI I was on a footpath, not on the road itself). This can all be a little disconcerting, and unfortunately it does mean that night time running might not be for everyone. 

Safety tips:

  1. Run with a friend if you can and need extra reassurance. 
  2. Avoid quieter roads where few cars pass through. 
  3. Ensure someone knows you are going out and when you will be back, especially if it’s a long run. 
  4. Take a fully charged mobile phone.
  5. Try waking up early morning instead of late at night, you could even take on a long run to catch the sunset as it gets lighter.
  6. Take an extra layer or even a small running beanie for warmth should you need it. Temperatures can sometimes drop rapidly. 
  7. If you like listening to music be extra mindful of doing this at night. While it is fun, it does impact your awareness of what’s around you. 

What have I missed? Please share in the comments and if you’ve never run at night before let us know how you get on if you give it a go.

It can be daunting for some people that are new to it, but if you are up for the challenge, start gradually with a friend or just as it gets dark, or when the real world starts up again at an organised race.

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