We asked Amy, a Ragnarian, to tell us how she survives the Ragnar nighttime runs. Read below and get ready to run overnight with 11 of your buddies!
Comment below and tell us your tips and tricks for surviving a nighttime run.
Along with Halloween, haunted houses, and horror movies, fall also brings us shorter days with limited daylight. For those of us who often plan our training runs for after work hours, this means that a run or two through the dark will be inevitable. Admittedly, as someone who has to plug in a nightlight after watching a scary movie, the idea of running through darkness used to be pretty intimidating. But once I learned how to work though the creepiness factor, I quickly learned that running at night certainly has its benefits. So read up, fellow scaredy cats: below are a few quick tips on how to survive that p.m. run.
Tip #1: No, that’s not the Blair Witch coming after you. Don’t psych yourself out.
Someone once told me that I must have a vivid imagination because I prefer to run sans music. This fact was only further highlighted during my first foray into nighttime running during Ragnar DC. Jaunting around Sugarloaf Mountain Park during graveyard shift hours, I made myself the unintentional star of my own personal horror movie: the crunching noise that I kept hearing was clearly the Blair Witch coming to get me (or likely a squirrel or a falling tree branch), and the runners visibly napping in their Ragnar vans had been attacked (nope, they were probably just sneaking in some shut-eye). It’s can be a little too easy to creep yourself out in the dark with ridiculous thoughts. Try not to let you imagination go too crazy — rather, focus on your goals and happy thoughts.
Tip #2: Glow, baby, glow: Be safe and rock that reflective vest.
Nighttime running is definitely not the time to skip out on any safety precautions. Aim to run in a familiar, well-lit area. Grab a buddy or your four-legged friend to hit the pavement with. If running solo, make sure to let a friend know your plan, and be sure to have your Road ID tag and cell phone on you. And don’t forget to throw on your reflective gear (at least neon is making a huge comeback, right?).
Tip #3: Watch your step.
Yes, it may look a little goofy, but a headlamp is helpful with expanding your visibility and helping to sight your terrain. Tripping over potholes, rocks, and branches is never fun, so make sure to always keep an eye on the ground ahead of you.
Tip #4: Embrace your inner badassness.
There is something special about running through the night. I’ll never forget the exhilaration that I felt after completing my 3:00 a.m. Ragnar leg — it kept me pumped me up through the remainder of the relay, and I often tell people how it was one of my most memorable — maybe even best — runs. And having a sparkly moonlit sky or quiet city landscape as your backdrop as your crush through a run makes the thrill of the accomplishment all the more sweeter.
So slap on that reflective vest, turn up your confidence, and try that nighttime run …you may find out that you’ll enjoy it!
Amy Anselmo is a Washington, DC based meeting and event planner who caught the endurance sports bug a few short years ago. 20+ endurance events later, she’s hooked. Amy is also actively involved with Team In Training, the largest fundraising campaign of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that trains athletes to complete endurance events while raising money to support blood cancer patients and their families.