6.30pm: your usual training time. You get ready, grab your mat and step outside. But wait. How can it be dark already? That’s when it hits you: summer is officially over.
But this does not mean your training has to be. We don’t wait for daylight, for sunshine, or for the weekend. Because we know that there is no time like now. So follow these tips, reject excuses and train safely in the dark this winter.
Run in the right direction
There’s no feeling like the freedom of a night run…as long as you stay safe. We know that not everyone is lucky enough to have a park or country path nearby, so if you do need to take it to the streets, stay off the road, on the pavement and always run against the traffic.
Listen to your thoughts
We know we’ve told you before that music makes a difference. But in the dark, when you need to be extra aware of your surroundings, silence is the best sound. Next night-time workout, leave your headphones at home and listen to your thoughts instead.
Make yourself visible
Running or bodyweight, in the park or on the street: at night it’s important you are always visible. Neon yellow not your colour? Even just reflective stripes or logos are enough for a driver or cyclist to notice you. A head-light might seem drastic, but if it could save your life, it’s worth it.
Leave exploring to the day time
What should be left for the daylight is exploring. Stick to what you know and where you know. Getting lost in the dark is no fun for anyone.
Train with someone – even if it’s your dog
Anyone who’s afraid of the dark knows it’s a lot less scary when you’re with someone. Lucky for you, there’s likely to be a group of Free Athletes nearby to face your fear with. If not, even taking your dog along for protection is better than going it alone.
Valuables stay at home
One reason being, if you drop something in the dark, it’s going to be a lot harder to find – unless you’re wearing your head-light of course. When purchasing your sports gear, make sure your tights, shorts, jacket or even gloves have a zip pocket on them somewhere to store keys. This is one valuable you will have to take with you.
Be honest, darkness is just an excuse. And from now on, you won’t be using it. Prepare yourself, stay safe and swap the couch for the training ground tonight. It’s a feeling like no other. Who doesn’t want to go to bed with a feeling of empowerment and a sense of accomplishment?