Running/Riding in the Dark

I haven’t been on a treadmill in 6 months and if you work typical business hours like me, it’s almost impossible to train outside in the daylight this time of year. So I thought that I would share some “Exercising in the Dark ” tips:

1. Move in the right direction! color> – Bike with traffic, run and walk against traffic. Biking with traffic is the law…running/walking against the flow of traffic is just a good idea. It allows you to watch everything coming your way – cars, buses, bikes, etc. Oncoming traffic can see you from afar and you should have enough reaction time to get out of the path of any oncoming danger. As drivers increasingly text and talk on their cell phones, all it takes is a momentary swerve of the car to cause an impact. Runners with their back to an oncoming swerving vehicle don’t have a chance to react.
Unlike running, bike speeds of 15-20 mph and faster create a dangerously short reaction time for drivers headed in the opposite direction. So, riding with the flow of traffic is the safe bet.

2. Wear Reflective clothescolor> – This one is pretty obvious, but anything that helps you stand out in the darkness is a good idea. A reflective vest is probably the best idea, but if nothing else, wear bright colors (yellow, orange, white). Reflective wrist and ankle bands are good because they will be moving as you run/bike and are more likely to get the attention of an unattentive driver.

3. See clearlycolor> – Eye protection is necessary when biking, but leave the dark-tented glasses at home if you are riding early or late. Use clear or red tint lenses to enhance your vision in the dark.

4. Move off roadcolor> – If you can find a trail to run or bike on, you don’t have to worry about being seen by cars. These trails are likely to be very dark, so a headlight or flashlight might be necessary. Modern LED flashlights or small mag light flashlights are more compact for the amount of light they provide. Those who do not want to carry anything in their hands can strap a headlamp flashlight onto their foreheads.

5. Go Earlycolor> – Do what I do…get up early and get out there! Now that the clocks have been set back, getting out before or right at sunrise is the best way to get some sunlight on your workout. It’s dark at 5:30pm, so going after work means nothing but darkness! Lay out your clothes the night before and don’t hit the snooze!

6. Be Safe!color> – If crime is an issue where you run/bike, take precautions when exercising in the dark. Avoid unsafe neighborhoods. Walk or run with a companion – of either the human or canine variety.
Carry some mace or pepper spray. Also remember that if you walk or run regularly, you are probably in good enough shape to outrun most thugs that have been out partying all night!

80 minutes on the bike (covered around 26 miles). Got to Spin Class a little late, but we did some good long intervals today…of the 2-4 minute variety. I stayed after class and got in another solid 45 minutes of work in HR zone 2. I also enjoyed listening to some AC/DC Radio on my new iPhone thanks to the free Pandora radio!

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