Running At Night [Tips From My Night Runs]

I’ve been having night runs for quite some time now and I do it usually after workdays. I can say that I really enjoyed it more than day runs because there’s less car traffic and fewer crowds. From my experience, knowing some tips before your night runs can be very helpful.

Some useful tips when taking your nights are to wear comfortable running shoes, be aware of your surroundings, and wear night running gear, to name a few. When running at night, a well-prepared runner ensures its safety and ability to run efficiently.

Here Are The 10 Tips From My Night Runs:

  1. Have A Commitment First To Night Runs.
  2. Wear Reflective Gear When Night Running.
  3. Warm Up Before And After Night Runs.
  4. Always Carry A Phone For Emergencies.
  5. Wear Comfortable Running Shoes For Lesser Injury Occurrences.
  6. Run With A Buddy In Less Safe Routes.
  7. Choose A Safer Route (Away from woods, away from traffic, and from darker areas).
  8. Use A Tracker App To Track Your Progress.
  9. Eat A Small Snack Before You Hit Night Runs.
  10.  Stay Where Lights Are Well Lit.

Knowing these tips will give you an advantage when running at night. It’s best to be well prepared and know what to expect when you are having night runs and these tips are important especially if you are just beginning to run at night. I’m going to talk more about the tips I have given above in this article.

1. Have A Commitment First To Night Runs

If you intend to make night runs, I suggest that you make it a commitment especially if you’re just about to start doing some night runs. What I did is I made little goals for myself so that I can commit to running at night.

Running, just like any form of exercise, needs to have a commitment especially if your goal is to stay in shape. For example, I set a goal to run at least three days a week for about 20-30 minutes at most. Now, I can run 30 minutes during weekdays and weekends are my rest, and I plan to run every day.

Take time to decide if night running is ideal for you or maybe day running. Also, you must know your “why” in doing night running. Is it because you want to stay in shape? Or are you preparing for a marathon? Or something else. Otherwise, you might not become stay committed.

2. Wear Safety Gear When Night Running

When you’re night running, make sure you are visible enough. Wearing reflective gear is extremely helpful when you are running at night because it greatly helps drivers, cyclists, and people to see you running so they are aware of your presence.

Much better if you wear a running vest with reflective stripes or a headlamp if you’re running on trails. I suggest wearing bright colors or white sports clothing if you don’t have any running vests. Additionally, wear running shoes that are brightly colored.

Besides reflective gear, I recommend that you wear a sweater jacket especially if your area is colder given that the temperature drops down when it’s night resulting in colder weather.

Here are some night running gears I recommend:

  • Reflective vest/jacket — This gear is ideal for running, cycling, jogging, and other outdoor activities to increase visibility in low light to dark settings. The reflective vest/jacketalso helps your core to keep warm when the temperature is down or you can adjust it when it’s becoming hotter.
  • Headlamp — Not necessarily required, but it’s very useful night gear as well. Most headlamps are lightweight and bright enough in helping visibility issue when you’re running on less lit areas.
  • Small flashlight — Small flashlight is another useful gear when you want to illuminate your path in less let areas. This lessens the chances of injuries and an effective gear to make people aware of your presence.
  • Running belt — A running belt gives your more convenience. Because most clothing sports don’t have pockets and you can’t bring a bag while running. I’ve been using a running belt so I don’t need to hold my car keys, mobile phone, and my wallet.

3. Warm-Up Before And After Night Runs

Before you jumpstart with your night runs, it’s important that you do some basic warmup first before going out running. After running, you should also do some warmup. Because warming up will make your joints, muscles, and bones loosen up which conditions your body and your heart rate.

Doing this will lessen the chances to encounter any injuries while you are running. According to PubMed, doing a stretching routine will give you more endurance compared to people who didn’t warm up.

Follow these 5-minute warmups for smart running:

Do 45 to 60 seconds with each of these exercises. You can add more time depending on what your body needs.

  • High Knees to Heel Kicks
  • Squats With Hip Rotation
  • Side Lunges And Side Bends
  • Planks
  • Jumping Jacks

High Knees to Heel Kicks

This cardio exercise will loosen your muscles in glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

  • Start by alternating your high knees and heel kicks. You can perform this either moving or while in place.
  • Ensure that your back is straight, chest high, and maintain your core.
  • Do this for 45 to 60 seconds.

Squat With Hip Rotation

This exercise is about mobility and it will activate your glutes and loosen your hips.                                                                                                                                             

  • Stand straight with your legs shoulder length apart.
  • Perform a squat.
  • As you stand, lift your knee chest high and rotate it outward.
  • Then return your foot to the ground and perform another squat.
  • Do this for 45 to 60 seconds.

Side Lunges And Side Bends

This exercise is a great warm-up for a core workout and to build momentum which is crucial in running. It also activates your hip flexors when doing lunges.

  • Stand straight with your legs shoulder length apart.
  • One foot forward for lunge position while bending your knees to the floor at a 90-degree angle. Then hold it for about two seconds.
  • Make sure your core is engaged while pushing off the front heel returning into the center.
  • Perform a reverse lunge by stepping backwards. Maintain your chest upright and shoulders engaged while holding your back knee a few inches off the ground.
  • Then return your knee to the center position
  • Repeat the process like a pendulum movement.

Basic Planks

Planking is simple but it can pump the core. This is crucial for running because plank exercise will help stabilize your running as well as your spine.

  • Lay on the floor with hands stacks under your shoulders.
  • Keep your hips high and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Maintain your position for about a minute.
  • Do this for 45 to 60 seconds.

Jumping Jacks

Among the easiest warm-up exercise but it will activate both your upper and lower body.

  • Stand with arms on the side and legs together.
  • Slightly bend your knees and then jump
  • While you jump, spread your legs shoulder width apart while also stretching your arms wide and over your head.
  • Return to the original position and repeat.
  • Do this for 45 to 60 seconds.

4. Always Carry A Phone For Emergencies

Anything can happen when I’m outside especially when I’m doing running at night. That’s why I make sure I always have my phone with me. Fortunately, mobile phones today have emergency features that alert my emergency contacts with my real-time location.

Besides the phone, I invested in a smartwatch for quick settings whether it’s for emergencies, a progress tracker, and many more. Smartwatches are very accessible and it makes me very convenient particularly when it’s for emergencies.

To be safe, I bring both my phone and my smartwatch mainly for communication, progress tracking, and for emergencies.

5. Wear Comfortable Running Shoes For Lesser Injury Occurrences

Whether it’s a night run or a day run; short distance or long distance, you’ll need to wear comfortable running shoe which prevents any injury while running especially at night.

Wearing incompatible shoes will make you feel discomfort. Or worse, it increases the chance of getting injuries or your knees will soar. I have flat feet and I need to make sure I’m comfortable with the shoes I wear like getting supportive shoes.

I also ensure that I’m wearing good quality running shoes which provide enough support and cushion. Additionally, I don’t recommend wearing old shoes because it doesn’t have enough cushion which affects your joints resulting to injuries.

6. Run With A Buddy In Less Safe Routes

Generally, running with a partner is great. You get to be motivated and makes running more fun. But if you’re going on a run at night, having a running buddy keeps you secured and feels much safer.

Running at night may seem challenging particularly in fairly dark areas. So, having a running buddy is your safest option to feel become more confident when you are going someplace in less safe routes.

If you don’t have any running buddies, you can just look and search within your community. Nowadays, you can join a community for runners on social media within your area. From there, you can invite a running buddy that is down for a night run.

7. Choose A Safer Route When Night Running

Because you are running at night, make sure to take safer routes that are well lit, there are few people, and sidewalks. Given that there’s an increase in potential danger like cracks on the sidewalks, cars, and others else. Also, you should avoid wooded areas, traffic, and darker areas.

You need to be visible enough if you’re running at night. Even if you are going to well-lit areas, it’s still necessary to wear a headlamp, reflective gear, and a mini flashlight. These things can save you from trouble.

I suggest, have a little research and background check to learn the areas where it offers jogger-friendly and runner-friendly routes. This way, you know what places to avoid and what areas to take that is safe.

8. Use A Tracker App To Track Your Progress

I’m glad there are tons of apps that can track your running progress such as Strava and Runkeeper. I’ve been a user of these mobile apps for quite some time now and they really helped me to reach my fitness goals and they’re a useful guide to my night running activities.

Besides tracking your progress these apps can also map your routes and even join a community with like-minded individuals who are also into night running. Also, these apps are a good motivator in staying consistent particularly the Runkeeper.

9. Eat A Small Snack Before You Hit Night Runs

Eating even if it’s just a small snack before you run is necessary to fuel your energy and makes you’re your night running experience is worthwhile. Before I hit my night run, I eat a half bowl of muesli or granola with mixed fruits.

At most, you’ll only need at least 500 calories to keep you energize hours before you hit the road. Sometimes I don’t eat at night when I have already eaten a full meal so I can burn the carbo I ate. I also do some fasting before running, however, I recommend only this for short runs not in long runs.

10. Stay Where Lights Are Well Lit

Staying in well-lit areas will make you feel safe and comfortable. As much as possible I avoid going too dark places with no people even though I have my night running gear. It’s always safety first then fitness second.

Sometimes it’s tempting to run on the road less traveled like wooded, dark paths, etc., but I don’t want to gamble going to those areas. You can also see better in well-lit areas avoiding any rocks or cracks that might cause accidents and injuries.

Final Thoughts

Night runs can be enjoyable and take you to a different experience. It also makes you sleep better and is very beneficial according to However, just like any fitness program, you need to be committed and take time to prepare so your experience in night running will be worthwhile.

Also, night runs can be a bit challenging because you need to be aware of your surroundings especially when taking turns or when there’s an incoming vehicle towards you. So, before your night run, make sure you have safety gear and always stay safe on your route.

Thanks for visiting


Eyr Miscaux

Eyr is a content writer, outdoor enthusiast, and shoe collector, who loves to craft his own adventures be it by reading books or going on outdoor trips. At home, he enjoys reading, watching classic films, and sometimes playing with his adorable feline.

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