Chasing your winter training motivation

Making light of running in the dark

Daylight’s not currently the only thing in short supply … you might find you’re also lacking in motivation as the nights really start to close in.

Of course, most people would prefer to run during the day but the demands of work, family and other commitments mean that, at this time of year, training in the dark is unavoidable for a great many runners.

Running in the dark after a hard day’s work can be a great release but it may require a few adjustments to your normal routine to make sure you are as safe as possible.

Reflective clothing will help motorists and pedestrians to see you more easily but that doesn’t mean you have to invest in a whole new winter running wardrobe. Wearing reflective arm bands and a reflective over-vest on top of darker gear is a relatively low-cost way of making sure you are seen.

Pay more attention to your route planning. There’s no point in heading off for a scenic, off-road route if you cannot see anything. Stick to busy, familiar, well-paved and well-lit routes. Should you find yourself on a dark section of road with no pavement, run in the direction towards on-coming traffic and wear a head torch.

It’s a good idea to run in a group. Not only is it safer, it will bring a welcome social aspect to your training and that camaraderie will be added motivation to pull on your trainers and get out of the door on those cold, dark nights.

If you are running alone let a family member or friend know your route and what time you expect to be back. Don’t forget to ring them when you return.

Should you run with headphones you might want to save them for daytime running. In the dark you may hear potential problems, such as on-coming cars, before you see them.

Make sure you take your phone with you. Should you pick up an injury or get into other difficulties you’ll be able to summon help.

So enjoy your winter running and remember – Spring will be here before you know it.

Of course, another thing that’s going to help you stay on track is having something to train for.

With so many great events scheduled for next year, now’s the perfect time to set yourself a target. Get signed up today – and have something to get you out running in the colder, darker months!

Back to top