Research shows that if you manage to squeeze a run in during your busy day (at any time), not only do your health and energy levels increase, but so too does your quality of sleep. Reports indicate around 45% of people say they have poor sleep, which in turn leads to poor day-time performance. The good news is having a night run can fix all and doesn’t cost a cent. Below, we’ve gathered 10 of the best reasons why running at night is all right, and why you should make night running a part of your daily life.
1. Use night running to break your “bad” night habits in 5 minutes
You get home, sit on the couch and before you know it, time has flown by. You wanted to get some things done but you needed some ‘you time’, so on comes the TV and off goes your motivation. Night running can help you curb the behaviors you may not want. Instead of heading straight for the couch, or the kitchen to start cooking, or grabbing a drink when you get home, get changed in to your running gear and get out there within 5 minutes of getting home (the challenging part). 5 minutes and out the door so you have no time to argue with yourself and say no to a night run.
When you get back from your run, your mind will be more refreshed than from any of those other home habits you may have fallen into, and the night opens up to a world of possibilities for you to do now that you are feeling good (see more on this at tip 10).
2. Bring your phone with you
Safety is the number one concern for people night running (number two is lack of energy). With phones being able to do everything these days, you’re ready if anything happens to you while out there on your night run. From being able to call for a taxi if you run too far, using maps to find your way home, texting anyone that may be waiting if you’re taking longer than you thought, to simply being able to call a friend (or the police). If you don’t feel safe, your phone is your answer to any worry you may have night running. As a bonus, they also come with a built-in flashlight so if you can’t quite see the trail in front of you, it’s a useful feature to have in hand.
3. Stay where it’s lit and aim for the “touristy” spots
Likely the best place to run at night is along your local main street. Scattered with restaurants and night-friendly places, the wash of lights make it easy to see where you’re running, and throngs of people mean safety is nothing to worry about. If running in these busier areas isn’t for you though, headlamps could be a great way to run where you want safely. Ask your local running specialist store if you can take a headlamp for a test though, as wearing one isn’t for everyone, and it’s better to be sure before buying one you use once.
4. Night running gear
And on the topic of headlamps, the gear you need for night running is a little different from your normal run kit. Aside from the optional headlamp, reflective gear is a must for the night runner. Dressing for the weather is important as the temperature will drop quickly the later it is in the night. Versatility is the key, with gear that can easily be adjusted from warm to cold conditions (like On’s Performance Running Gear, which you can see here.
Another thing to consider when night running is wearing more supportive running shoes. With less visibility, the chances of tripping over something in the dark and doing injury to yourself is greater, so having shoes that better protect rolling can help here. From On, we recommend the Cloudflyer or Cloudflow – no excuse like a new habit for new shoes, right?
5. Track the run
The final “safety” tip for new night runners is to use a run-tracking app like Strava or Runkeeper, with the community easily able to see where you’ve gone if you get lost and off track. A bonus of using a tracking app is to compare how you run the same route during the day to during the night. Research shows that on night runs, we tend to be slightly faster due to the weather often being slightly cooler (better for running) and as we naturally are on more alert, so have more energy to draw upon. See for yourself by tracking your run (and let us know your results).