hello darkness

i have seen a couple posts lately about running safety (and i have done one previously) and running in the dark, plus i had a comment yesterday asking for some tips.  so i thought i would give my two cents on the topic now that its dark a lot of the time we are running.

tips for running in the dark!

pepper spray

better to have it and not need it, then to not have it and need it.  i have this one

i run with it in my hand (it has a strap that wraps around), especially in the dark or in areas i just don’t feel right.  it doesn’t weigh much and i can barely tell its there.  i just make sure its positioned right to take off the safety easily if need be.

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head lamp

i always wear my head lamp when its dark, or if its going to get dark.  i hate being stuck out running when it turns dark on me if i don’t have light!  i use it to shine at cars/other people so they see me also.

i use this one.  i love it, my only complaint is the batteries need to be replaced too often.

see headlamp, vest and hat
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reflective gear

i admit i don’t wear this vest often, but i do wear the hat!  if i don’t have one of these things on i try to make sure a piece of my clothing has a reflective strip somewhere on it.

go where you know 

don’t go running around in new unfamiliar places you aren’t sure are safe or might get lost in.  i try to stick around home or just go on my normal routes i know very well.  sometimes i will even do multiple laps/circles/out and backs just because i know the areas.

don’t go alone

if you are lucky enough to have a friend to run with, set up some running dates!


and bring your pups!  nothing like a big scary dog to help you feel safe.

kylie sporting the reflective vest
(no she hasnt ran in this but its funny!)

just be smart

bring your phone and let someone know where you are going and about how long you are going to be gone.

be alert, pay attention, don’t wear your music, just be smart about it.  listen to your instincts and trust them.

what are some of your tips for running in the dark/being safe?

run safe out there friends!


5 –7 distance

easy morning run starting in the dark.  nothing too exciting, just kept the pace easy.

7.0 miles/1:03:36/9:05 avg pace


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23 Responses to hello darkness

  1. Joanne November 19, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    Good info. We just went on a run for safety held locally last night. It was fun. People actually wore Christmas lights …not a serious event obviously.
    I recently bought the headlamp. It helps but it's one more "body attachment" to run with. Hate that!
    My running bud is one of those big scary dogs. He's the best.

    As for people not hitting you in cars if you wear reflective cloting or lights, nothing works for those that stare at you, drive towards you and scare the crap out of you because they get so close. They must really hate us!

  2. The Hungry Runner Girl November 19, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Great post. I need to get some pepper spray and some running friends ha! Thanks for the info.

  3. marathonmaiden November 19, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    yay reflective gear! and pepper spray. is that something you can get anywhere? i was under the impression that you had to get it from the PD

  4. Marlene November 19, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Great tips here… I shoudl really take some of this advice. I have been wanting to get a headlamp, evn just so I can see the ground in front of me! Not a fan of the dark…


  5. misszippy November 19, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Great tips! I pretty much always run with friends when I'm in the dark. And I must admit, they have headlamps and I kind of ride their coat-tails!

  6. Emz November 19, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    How you all run outside in the dark is beyond me. I run in the dark on my mill and get scared.

  7. J November 19, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    I love that Brooks hat! Great tips for running in the dark! I especially try to avoid running at night because of those crazy drivers! The mornings aren't any lighter but at least there aren't as many drivers!

  8. Emily November 19, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    I just emailed the pepper spray link to my mom, subject line: stocking stuffer please!

  9. Page November 19, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    AWESOME! Exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Thanks for this post :)

  10. Tara November 19, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    excellent post! I've been much better about running with my pepper spray. I just need to get my booty up in the mornings since people driving at night is much more scary :(

  11. RunningLaur November 19, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Good tips! If I have to run in the dark, I try to head to an area that I feel is safer. No west side of Phoenix runs for me!

  12. Nicole November 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    i have some pepper spray but it doesn't have that nifty strap! i think ill have to snag one up! :) great post!!! also great Friday run!

  13. Jess November 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    I have pepper spray too. It clips onto my shorts.

  14. lindsay November 19, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    i've been thinking about getting a vest, esp after my own "no white at night" post and thinking i want to be as visible as possible! as for a headlamp, are there not streetlights where you run? i tend to stick to neighborhoods when i have to run in the dark and there are periodic streetlights / house lights (not so much at 5am of course).

    anywho, you look safe! as does kylie, haha.

  15. Running and living November 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    I never run when it is dark (yes, the luxury), but I do run alone in the woods sometimes, and that's really scary, even in dailight. I need to get a pepperspray!!!

  16. Christine November 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Thank you so much for the post!! :) I run with the spray as well and it makes me feel much safer. I think my problem is the running route. My town is too small to run in and I can only run outside the town on lonely roads, which makes me very uncomfortable. I should check out some other neighborhoods. Again, thanks for the post! :)

  17. Bethany + Ryan November 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    i'd love to get some pepper spray but it's too hard to get here in good ole MA. Last time i checked it cost over $100 to get a permit, and you have to take a class and get a special license to carry!
    Ryan and i run with reflective bracelets and flashing lights. We run on a path around the river (well, you know where! You've been there!) only a short stretch of road with cars but there is a wide sidewalk and the traffic is all stop and go anyways. Great tips!

  18. Pretend this is real November 20, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    Thanks for such a good post. Safety is really important and can sometimes be easy to write off. You remind me that I'm going to have to look for a similar pepper spray container!

  19. Janice {Run Far} November 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    I hate hate hate running in the dark. Great tips. My friends gave me the Brooks Night life jacket when I moved 5 weeks ago. I wore it today in the fog, and I made it home safe and sound.

  20. Lauren November 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    My mom bought me pepper spray last winter and I'm ashamed to admit I never even took it out of the package! I know I should run with it to be safe, I just hate the idea of carrying it (even though it straps around my hand like yours does).

    I do try to wear reflective gear though. I have a hat and vest I always wear, and I make sure I run on well-lit roads…and avoid certain sketchy ones. There are definitely some routes that I run during the day time that I steer clear of at night!

  21. René November 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    I love the doggie vest! I wear the headlamp, but also bring my phone just in case something happens. I have my ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers labeled in there for the paramedics.

  22. Chic Runner November 29, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    So glad you posted this and I'm working on my post right now for darkness! I need to get a headlamp but I'm scared to run in the dark still! You are a brave soul.


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