It’s one of my most favourite things.
Things look different in the dark.
There’s a calm in the air. You hear different noises, see different creatures and the air is cool.
It’s something that many people find a little daunting but fear not, once you have done it a few times it adds another fun dimension or option to your running.
First up is gear, get yourself a headlamp which fits comfortably and throws out some lumens. The more lumens the brighter.
I like wearing a buff/bandana under my headlamp, it stops it pushing into your forehead.
If you are nervous or new, having a secondary light source like a flashlight in your hand can be really helpful for casting shadows and adds to depth perception.
If you are heading somewhere with other traffic please wear light/bright/reflective clothing so they see you.
Also take a backup light or batteries for your light- just in case.
Onto the running!
When it comes to learning a new skill I’m all for scaffolding.
Not literally, but imagine it being built.
They do the bottom layer, then the next level up, and so on.. it’s the same for us learning new things. One layer at a time.
So if you are new to night running, this would be the way I’d suggest doing it.
- Take your headlamp out and walk a (non technical) trail that you normally run. Take a friend or furry companion if it makes you feel safer. Going somewhere you are already familiar with takes a lot of thinking out of it and also takes a bit of pressure off a new situation.
- Head out again and jog it. Move slowly and become more confident running trails you know.
- Start choosing more technical trails or going on different night time adventures. You’ve become a night runner!
Always let someone know where you are going. Take your phone and a map, watch out for wildlife and most of all, have fun!