Do you ever feel like you’re on top of the world when you get an outside run done first in the morning?
I know I do.
And I’m not alone here. The scary thing is that as a female, running through Brooklyn, NY is, for the most part, safe but absolutely unsafe during certain times of the day, particularly in the early morning hours and evening hours when the sun is not out.
During the summer, it’s HUMID AF during the daytime, and I prefer running in the early morning before the sun comes up or in the evenings when the humidity + the heat are manageable.
Can you relate?
It’s freakin’ scary to head outside in the dark and uncomfortable with running gear weighing you down throughout your entire run.
Especially if it’s a tempo run or an interval workout. It’s no secret that both women and men are assaulted, murdered, and harassed while running in the dark. It just so happens that the chances of getting into an altercation are higher when it is dark out because it’s harder to be seen. They’re fewer people out typically to help you if you’re in trouble, including the police (sorry, NYPD).
Research & Findings
In a recent article published in Women’s Running, “Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.” The Runner’s Equity Alliance is conducting a survey after several pro runners have been followed home. Trail runners have been harassed and quoted, “This Sexual Assault and Harassment Survey Aims to Improve Safety for Trail Runners. The study will benefit the fields of running, sports psychology, and health psychology, enhancing safety and well-being in the running community.” In the hope of creating a safer environment and space for runners in all world areas.
A report by WABC in 2019 showed that over 80% of women running have been harassed while running. That was in 2019. I can only imagine that those stats have increased in 2022. And not in favor of making running for women “safer” per se.
Another article by The Guardian published on April 28, 2022, advertised a woman jogging alone at 2 am and called her “unrealistic” and inventive. The woman was clear about how “following the herd” of runners wasn’t for her, and her schedule didn’t allow her to run at regular hours. This goes for many in the medical field and others in non-9-5 professions. I loved this when I read it because it reinforces what running SHOULD be all about and how it SHOULD be accessible to everyone, which is what many of us preach, right? WRONG. Not the Guardian. Not trying to bash anyone here, but running should be your time on your watch around your lifestyle (family, work) to get it done when you have the time too! Time is all relative. Many of us need to run in the dark because we have to work during the light hours. End of story.
Running for most women after hours or earlier is the norm. It’s not a new one. With women continuing to empower other women to speak up, to share these stories of terror, we’re taking steps closer. If you see something, say something!
You Can Still Enjoy Running In Dark
Instead of worrying about missing your next run, here are five musts that you can instill in your training regime to keep you running safely at any hour of the day.
1. Get visible high-res running gear. I am absolutely in love with my InfinitiLoop, since the belt is super lightweight, instead of looking like a Christmas Tree with all of the heavy gear and lights while you’re out on your run. The InfinitiLoop has many benefits. It illuminates the path ahead of you, making you visible to cars and other pedestrians around you, keeping you safe and away from the bad guys, and fits super lightly on your hips. Some features of the loop include:
Consolidation of Headlamp and LED illumination, all on one belt, no fuss
Bright 300 Lumen max output, dual-setting 360° wrap-around LED band
Light 3.8oz; you’ll barely know it’s there
Rechargeable Powered with integrated 1500 mAh Li-ion battery with micro-USB charge port
All-Weather Built to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at you
See & Be Seen Illuminate the path ahead, eliminating visual glare and neck strain, and alerting you to objects in your way, making sure you’re seen from all directions
Code ‘RUNWITHALLI20‘ saves you 20% on your purchase. Grab one now to make running in the dark more enjoyable for your friends and you!
2. Run on your local neighborhood streets close to your home. Even if that means making loops around the same three roads, whatever works is worth doing. Jack Daniel’s known for many accolades. One of the more popular ones includes the Daniels’ Running Formula, used by coaches worldwide. Jack Daniel’s is famous for saying, “every workout should have a purpose,” So should every run in the dark, whether dodging a creeping person in the bushes or making your 10-mile run a 5-mile puzzle around your local streets.
3. Run with friends! It’s less scary to brace the dark with some running pals. Many of us are early morning risers within the running community, and many are evening runners. While running with a group, you have less chance of being singled out and help right beside you. You’re all in the same situation together, making the best of it. Perhaps, one of you could carry pepper spray, just in case!
4. Share your location with your spouse, best friend, brother, or whomever. Make sure someone knows where you are at ALL times, especially while taking on runs in the dark. This is added safety to your benefit and toolbox that will keep someone in the know of where you are, even if you encounter an uncomfortable situation.
5. Run on a treadmill if you have access to one! Or, climb up the stairs to get some cardio in for ONE run per week. It’s essential to get creative when safety comes first.
Benefits of Running At Any Hour
For the most part, running should be enjoyable. It’s a fantastic way to connect tight other like-minded individuals, stay healthy, get fit, improve endurance, gain confidence, stay strong both mentally and physically, and get moving meditation in your day. For some, that’s at 4 am; for others, that’s at 9 pm.
I know that I’ve smiled lying in bed when my alarm went off at 4 am for my long run, but I reverted to my thoughts about the aftermath and that post-run feeling. OHHHH, there’s nothing that can get me out of bed quicker, plus a cup of coffee and my journal!
Remember: Your largest fear carries your greatest growth. Even if that’s slipping by a mountain lion while running through the trails in Colorado or running through the streets of Brooklyn hoping some individuals won’t see you fly by.
Ways to Connect With Me
Sign Up To Receive A Newsletter With Different Running Tips, Training Tips, And Cross Training Exercises to Help You Run Farther & Faster HERE!