Night running: the best option for the summer

11 August, 2015

When it’s hot and sticky, professional runners and doctors recommend limiting your exertions, but you are a runner and you want to train, even though it’s 33 degrees outside! Doctors recommend shaded routes and drinking plenty of water. When summer arrives many runners reduce their training schedule but the real pros embrace the nocturnal lifestyle and use the streetlights as their track. Night runners: a different breed who take advantage of the lower temperatures after dark. Running at night gives you the opportunity to maintain your training schedule and keep your kilometers up.

It’s not just the cooler temperatures that encourage night runners, once the sun has gone down many runners hit the streets and the parks; the real night runners wait a couple more hours for the sunset runners to go home, and then the night runners come out to pound the street in lower temperatures and without the need to dodge other runners.

In the summer there are many people who change to a later time to run. However, there are many runners who regularly run at later hours. People with kids, strange working hours, or just people who prefer the solitary calmness of having the streets to yourself without traffic and other runners getting in their way.

Summer is a great time of year for night running. The temperature at night is still warm but you do not have the sun glaring in your eyes, or have to stop every 5 minutes to drink more water. Running at night is a great time to practise your running technique, without having to keep your eyes open for slower/antisocial runners you can really focus on your strides and control your breathing. Another advantage is that you will probably run a couple of hours after eating your dinner, this means you will have high levels of carbs in your system and could mean you can go even harder.

So, what are the negatives of running at night? Well, unless you have night vision you will have to be alert for potholes.  If you are unsure of the terrain in front of you, a flashlight is a great way to quickly scan the next 10 meters. More importantly, you should always have your cell phone with you. If you injure yourself there won’t be any dog walkers or runners to come to your rescue.

One thing you must do if you are going to turn to the dark side is wear reflective and fluorescent clothes. Luckily most running gear already has reflective tabs incorporated into it. If you can’t be seen from 10 meters away, you could be a danger to other people, or you may mistakenly stumble into a teenage couple having some quiet time down lovers´ lane!

Night running means you can go hard 365 days of the year. Don’t lose your momentum and undo all the work you did up to July. See you at 23:30 in the park.

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