Scared of the dark

Hi, I am a bit unsure of how to run when its dark. I know this sounds daft but I do most of my running early in the morning (6.30/7.00ish)as it fits it with work. I run 50% on the road and 50% over public footpaths across fields, around lakes and over hills. I'm sure I can deal with the road bit but is there any advice what I can do off road? What does everybody else do? thanx


  • I've just bought a brilliant head mounted light ( brilliant light! good eh?)
    It's about 20quid and light as a feather from some outdor shop or other.
    Now I won't fall down holes.
    In theory.
  • Highly impressed with your early am runners. What time to you go to bed?

    I've tried running with a torch but it's never strong enough. Barkles' light sounds great but as a girlie I'd still cop out of running in the dark on my own.
    You might risk injury if you run off road in the dark, even with a good head light. But as I haven't tried that myself I defer to those of you who do.
  • I love Central European Time! Its still pretty good here in the evenings (light until about 8:30) but I can see its shortly going to be a problem and I'm not a bit fan of running at twilight due to the bats!

    Anyway, during the winter I tend to run in the dark but carry a very small torch - if the moons out then generally your eyes adapt quite well without any additional light. If its really dark then even then I only find I need the torch occasionally. Provided you're running on reasonably level ground I think its more a question of whether you have the bottle to run in the dark!

    However, if you're running where there's traffic then you need illumination to be seen. Try one of those flasing light vest used by cyclists.
  • Once the dark nights/mornings arrive i tend to go out on the industrial estate - there are pavements and streetlights and hardly any people around. I save the off road runs for the weekend when i can hit the mud!
  • As long as there is some lights be it street,lunar or security , the eyes adapt quite quickly.
    The problem round my way is the uneven surfaces which mean that more often than not I run slower.
    If you run early in the day (I sometimes go out between 5am and 7am) then run on the main roads - no traffic and street lights.
    I remember the headlamp being suggested before on the old forum - some found it useful as for me I haven't tried it....yet.
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    I just can't make myself go out before 7.30am and in the winter that's not an option as I wouldn't have time before work and it's still dark then. So I tend to run around well lit streets and like Dangly save my off road runs for the weekends.
  • Might take a bit of getting used to but like Barkle says you can get really light LED head torches like the Petzl Tikka that should do the job. People in adventure races have to run with head torches for night nav. and it's not a huge problem. If you go with that option do get a head torch, not a maglite headband or whatever because they're not as good.
    Still, v impressed that you make it out at that time. I barely know what that time of morning looks like!
  • I run at St Anns Hill in Chertsey during the winter months & your eyes do get used to the dark. You need to get there about ten minutes before you start running & your eyes will adjust enough for you to see. I don't like to rely on headtorches as sods law will make them pack up when you are in the blackest part of your run & you will end up being late for work etc.
  • One other thing, if you are running in the dark and a car comes along with full beams, shut your good eye till it passes & you will retain your night vision.
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