There You Glow – 6 Tips For Working Out in The Dark

Running Friday, November 1, 2013 Written by

As fall goes on, the days get shorter and the nights get longer, making it more and more difficult to squeeze in your normal outdoor workouts. In addition to setting your clocks back November 3 for daylight saving, you should also change your exercise routine to ensure a safer, more successful training session. Here are a few ideas to start.

1. Go Early

One of the only real benefits to “falling back” is that the sun rises slightly earlier, meaning that you may have more time to run or ride before work. A morning run in daylight is much easier than motivating yourself to go later, in the dark, at the end of a long day. Try to wake up with just enough time to do a 30-minute outdoor workout of your choice.

2. Bring a Friend

Not only will buddying up boost your safety points during early morning or evening workouts, but it will also bump up your liability factor. It’s easy to come up with a thousand reasons to not go running when it’s just you. However, chances are, you won’t leave your friend hanging all by his/her lonesome in the cold.

3. Brighten Up

Not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but neon apparel is back! Good thing, too. Embracing those neon jackets, shirts, gloves and hats will help keep you safer on the road. Studies have shown that drivers do indeed notice certain shades of neon sooner than duller, darker workout apparel.

4. Lighten Up 

Take a note from one of our favorite races, The Hood to Coast Relay, which requires its nighttime running participants to not only wear a headlamp, but a reflective vest and two blinking lights — one on the front of their body and one in back. Cyclists should have lights in front and back as well.

5. Attract Attention

Seek out reflective gear so that, even if your entire outfit doesn’t sparkle on the road, certain flecks on your top, pants, shoes, and/or hat do. You should be able to find reflective and lighting accessories for all activities at your local cycling or running stores.

6. Find a Sweet Spot

If you’re used to running or riding on trails or in a neighborhood without streetlamps, it’s time to change your route. Look for places near you that offer good lighting sources (such as lit-up stadiums, certain parks or tennis courts) where you can work out. If you live in Seattle, Green Lake offers a great track with lights. If your options are limited, it’s OK to go inside to a gym or indoor track. Remember, safety first.

Got any more bright exercise ideas? Share them with us!