Did you know that the Earth is closest to the Sun in January? This seems strange to a guy from Chicago because it’s so dark and cold in January. Then I remember that seasons are more related to the tilt of the Earth than they are to the closeness of the Sun. However, that does mean that outdoor running will be a bit colder and darker. Previously, I’ve written about joggling in the cold. In this entry we’ll look at joggling in the dark.
A recent article in Runners World suggested that there are actually some benefits to running when it’s dark. For some, performance is actually improved by nighttime running. Two factors for this fact have been suggested. First, at the end of the day body temperature is increased. A higher body temperature is linked to an increase in strength and reaction time. Second, you have a higher level of energy metabolism related hormones, cortisol and throptopin. With more of these in your body, you’re joggling is bound to be better.
For me, my life schedule just requires that I do some of my running at night. That 8 hour job right in the middle of the day gets inconvenient at times. If you are going to run or joggle when it’s dark, here are 4 tips to consider.
1. Experiment first. Since running when it’s dark is a bit different than light time running, do a few short runs first just to see what it’s like. In the city, stick with streets and sidewalks that you know. And be prepared to have a few extra drops. Joggling in the dark is more challenging.
2. Be prepared. There are some obvious things you should be doing if you’re going to workout at night. Wear reflective clothing, carry an ID and carry a cell phone. Also, tell someone where you’ll be running and how long you expect to be gone. Incidentally, these are good things to do when your just going out for a solo run.
3. Run with a group. It’s safer to run with a group, or at least one other person. If you can find someone go together. Your more likely to be seen by cars and less likely to get attacked by raccoons, bears, and muggers.
4. Wear a headlamp. If you’re doing trail running there won’t be any lights so a headlamp is a must. But they are tricky to run with so get used to it before going out on long runs.
5. Use light colored bean bags. You can joggle at night but it will be a bit tougher to see the juggling bags. Using a lighter colored bag like yellow or white will make things easier. You can pick up a great set from Gballz.