Running in the dark: having fun while staying safe!

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Night time running is practised by a growing number of people and has rules that should be applied in order to avoid taking unnecessary risks. Running at night: A few tips…

 

Precious light

See and be seen. The Run Light (exclusive to Kalenji) or a head torch is absolutely essential for night-time runners. The golden rule is to never go out without it – even when running on a marked and moderately lit area – and always take a spare set of batteries with you. The key priority is never to get caught out alone with no lights while running!

 

About your lighting system:

- Make sure you know exactly how it works and how to change the batteries. It may be more difficult to do so while training and even more so in competition compared to in the comfort of your living room. You should therefore know how to bring your head torch back to life in total darkness when your fingers may often be frozen stiff.

- You could even carry both a Run Light and a head torch if you decide to go running at night (or even at twilight) on an unlit main road. This will double the size of the beam and guarantee better safety.

 

Cover up well!

Night-time running is usually done during the coldest months of the year. Hence the special attention you should give to being properly equipped. Prior to a training session (even a short one) you should preferably select a warm and breathable outfit and wear several thin layers of clothing. In the event of heavy sweating during training, remove a layer and tie it around your waist or put it in a backpack.

 

Three priorities:

. Protect your extremities. Gloves and a hat are strongly recommended — even if it means having to take them off while training or in competition.

. Go for fluorescent clothing. Kalenji by Night has a full range of items allowing you to practise night-time running in the best conditions in terms of comfort and safety.

. Take a mobile phone with you as well as a minimum supply of food. It is important to be able to call for help and be self-sufficient for a few hours in the event of a fall or serious injury.

 

Be prudent, apply technique and progress gradually

Choosing your training or competition route is crucially important. You don't go out alone for long night-time runs to begin with. And don't sign up for a time trial of dozens of kilometres without having first taken part in shorter time trials.

 

Three tips:

. Progress gradually by using routes you are familiar with from day-time runs in order to reassure yourself. You should also check the exact topography of the area, the road surface and potential shelters along the route.

. Check the weather prior to training – in competitions the organisers generally take care of informing competitors. It is best to cancel a training session if heavy precipitation (rain or snow) is forecast. You should also avoid going out when the mercury falls below zero, unless you are an experienced runner.

. Adopt a shorter stride than normal in order to be more sure-footed. Eyes and attention should be focused on your immediate environment – except on good quality asphalted roads – without forgetting to regularly check that there are no sudden or unexpected changes in the terrain ahead. Preferably slow down on slippery or muddy terrain to avoid minor or serious falls.

 

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