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Running At Night: 7 Benefits and 10 Safety Tips

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Is it bad to go running at night? 

Not only is it not bad to run at night, but it’s safe to say it’s good practice.

Those who run at night often report they get a higher quality of sleep than they did before they started that habit.

That is not to say that everyone will enjoy running late at night and then be able to fall right into bed, fast asleep.

You might need some downtime before you can drift off. But many people need almost no transition between working out and catching ZZZZs.

Is It Okay to Run Before Bed?

As stated before, you may need some time to unwind after your workout. This is where a little trial and error will be helpful for you as a runner.

If you normally get to bed around 10:00, try running at 9:00. Too wound up to sleep at 10? Bump it up for 30 minutes and see if that helps.

Some runners find they need very little time to transition from workouts to pajamas. You might be one of them. 

7 Benefits of Running at Night

  1. Better Sleep: Many runners report a better night sleep when they run in the evening. 
  2. Stress Reliever: Running at any time is an excellent stress reliever. This is particularly true when you are running off the stress of the day. 
  3. The body is Fueled: While some runners enjoy fasted workouts, others do not. When planning your evening run, you have had all day to fuel your body to run. 
  4. Better Nutritional Choices all Day: Speaking of fuel – when you know that your run is ahead of you, you could find yourself making better nutritional choices all day. 
  5. Quiet Meditation: There is nothing quite like the sound of silence that accompanies a night run. Simply put, it is just a lovely way to end the day. 
  6. More Time: This is the one time of day that you can take whatever time you need for yourself since your family is sleeping (or winding down for the night). 
  7. Less Morning Stress: Rushing around to change, shower, and get off to work can be stressful. Taking the workout off the table helps alleviate stress for many athletes. 

Running at Night vs. Morning

Whether you are considering running late at night or running early in the morning, there are certainly benefits of both. As we said before, running at night benefits include taking stress out of the morning, helping you make better choices throughout the day, and perhaps even getting you better sleep.

For many, getting an early morning workout in helps them to make better choices throughout the day. Morning runs can also set the tone for the day, which can work as a stress reliever.

Ironically, some of the benefits of running at the end of the day actually work in reverse if you enjoy morning running.

While a night runner may love their time to run after a long day, a morning runner might feel like saving the workout all day could add stress to their life. 

10 Running at Night Safety Tips

1. Light Yourself Up: Illumination is critical while running through the night. It’s best to assume that no driver can see you. Find yourself a safety vest and quality headlamp.

Honestly, you can’t have too many lights for running at night. I wear reflective clothing such as the Noxgear vest, a headlamp, and I carry a flashlight in my hand!

2. Reflective Gear: High visibility clothing is most effective at night. It’s an extra safety precaution and increases a runner’s overall visibility. Reflective running shoes, reflective straps, reflective shorts, reflective hats, reflective vests, you name it. 

Running gear manufactured with fluorescent material floods the market and many options are available that fit your running at night needs.

3. Run With a Buddy: Sometimes, it is great to escape the world alone and relax. Other runs are very amazing social experiences. Whichever you prefer, while running at night it’s beneficial to consider bringing along a friend, as they can be an extra set of eyes and ears. 

4. Lose the Headphones: We love music, and it provides us with that extra motivation to keep our legs pumping. However, as much as we can agree that music is motivational for our run, we can also agree that headphones can be distracting.

Running at night impairs our vision, forcing our ears to become more of a guide than ever. So, make safe decisions and enjoy your run, you can always play your favorite track for a post-run celebration.

5. Run in Busier Areas: If you have a choice between running in a desolate area or one that may have more traffic, choose the road more traveled for safety. 

6. Watch Your Footing: Although coaches often tell us to keep our heads up, that is not the case when running in the dark. Watch where you place your feet. 

7. Tell Someone Your Route: It is always good practice for someone to know your route in case you run into trouble.

8. Carry Your Phone: There are many good ways to carry a phone now. Whether you use an armband or a belt that goes around your waist, figure out a way to carry a phone with an emergency contact.

9. Stay Alert: When running at night, you need always to be alert to your surroundings.

Whether this means you need to stay dialed into your surroundings, running before you get too tired, or turning the music on your speaker way down so you can hear everything around you, the point is still the same; stay in tune with what is happening all around you. 

10. Slow Down: Another way to stay safe in the dark is to dial it down a notch. It won’t kill you. We promise. 

So Should You Be Running At Night?

If you are still asking yourself if nighttime running is good for you, let me repeat myself: it sure is.

As long as you keep running at night with safety in mind, you can reap the benefits and stay safe at the same time.

You may even find that you enjoy the peace, quiet, and darkness more than you thought you would.

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