6 Tips To Keep You Safe When You're Running At Night

by Georgina Berbari

If you're a runner, you know the automatic shudder that comes with the word "treadmill" (or should I say, "dreadmill").

No one likes staring at themselves in that mirrored wall as they pant and sweat for a full cardio sesh (or maybe you do, I don't know your life).

Many runners are known to avoid the treadmill at all costs, even if it means having to get outside at 10 p.m. to pound the pavement.

And while running after sunset is discouraged by many national running advocacy organizations, sometimes life gets in the way, and daytime training just isn't in the cards.

If you must take your jog outdoors in the dark, there are definitely precautions that must be taken.

From potholes to planned routes, here are six safety tips to make it through your next night run safe and sound.

1. Wear Bright Clothing

Neon is your new best friend.

Wearing bright clothing makes it easier for cars and bicycles to see you and stay out of the way.

And if you want to go the extra mile (oh, running humor), a headlamp might be a good investment, as well.

2. Ditch Your Headphones

This one really hurts my heart because cardio is essentially a root canal for me without music.

But, honestly, it's really much safer to run at night sans earbuds, so you can hear oncoming vehicles, and possibly even people.

A 2012 study from The University of Maryland Medical Center revealed that the amount of pedestrians wearing headphones hit by cars and trains has increased threefold in the past six years.

Play it safe here, and if you really can't part with your tunes, keep only one bud in your ear.

3. Bring A Friend Along

Find a running buddy!

Cardio is always more fun with a companion, and night runs are much more secure with a pal by your side.

Double the senses equals double the safety.

You can even consider signing up for a running group in your area if that's your jam -- or start your own if you're feeling especially ambitious.

4. Be Mindful Of Your Area

Know your area and the surroundings, especially if it tends to be sketchy at night. 

It's safe to say this probably isn't the best time to experiment with new trails and paths.

Stay in a location that you're comfortable with, and save the exploration for daylight hours.

5. Know Where You're Going

Getting lost sucks, but it's even worse at night.

This might be a good time to download an app like MapMyRun to plan out your route. 

Knowing your direction will provide a greater sense of security so you don't end up dazed, confused, and in the dark.

6. Run Against Traffic

It might sound weird, but going against the flow of traffic is the best way to have a clear view of any hazardous vehicles, and allow them to see you clearly as well.

Oh, and be sure to grab a baseball cap on the way out the door if you think headlights could be blinding or distracting for you.