Daylight savings time has just ended, which means it gets darker sooner. If you train after daytime work hours, this might mean training during the night. Never fear though, if this is your first-time training after daylight savings time, these are the tips for you, and if you’ve been through this before here are some helpful reminders.
Cycling at Night
Light It Up
Even if it’s not required in your state to have headlights and taillights attached to your bike, it’s a great way to increase visibility. When buying bike headlights and taillights look for ones with flashing options. You will never look at your taillight, but to a driver a flashing taillight will draw attention to your bike. Headlights will not only cause drivers to be more aware of you, but it’ll also help you see objects in the road like potholes in the night. Make sure that any bike attachments you have don’t get in the way of your headlights or taillights.
The Music of the World
This goes for daytime as well, but it is especially important at night. Never wear earbuds or headphones while cycling in the dark. Music will cut down your awareness of your surroundings, which makes riding at night more dangerous. Stay alert and leave your favorite tunes for a different time.
picture courtesy of fellrunningguide.co.uk
Lights All Around
It’s best to run your route in a well-lit area. This helps you avoid potential dangers by helping you see where you are going. In addition to avoiding dangers easily, it’ll lessen the chances of anything dangerous happening to you. The main idea is to run in well-lit areas not only so you can see, but so you can be seen.
If you decide to run someplace that is not well-lit, remember to always bring a form of light whether it’s a flashlight or a head lamp. These light sources will change how your eyes view depth, so when you run with a light that’s bouncing as much as you are, realize that the ground is a lot closer than your eyes can perceive. This means lift your feet up higher than you think you need to in order to avoid any stumbles or trips.
Running, Cycling, and Everything In-Between
No matter how you train in the dark, it’s important for others to know you are training in the dark. Make yourself as visible as possible for other people, cyclists, and most importantly cars. You want to be noticed. Pile on your reflective gear, lights, and any bright neon clothes to become visible during the night time.
If you plan on training at night, make sure you have been on the route in the daytime before rushing out to train in the dark. This will help your mind make a mental note of certain landmarks that can keep you on the right track. The last thing you want is to get lost in the dark.
Typically, if you are training at night, that means it’s getting close or is winter time in your area. When it’s cold out that means switching gear. In addition to swapping out normal clothes for eye catching gear, take into consideration the temperatures you will be training in. You may want to add a reflective jacket or beanie to the list of gear you need for training at night.
Training at night can be cold and hazardous, but with the proper gear and knowledge it can also be exhilarating. Have fun with your night runs and bike rides, but always remember to stay safe.