By: Joe Fleming from Vive Health
Have you tried a night run?
Sure, daytime running is great — you can enjoy the scenery while getting pumped for the miles ahead with your favorite playlist.
But if you’re a night owl, there’s a lot to appreciate about running at night.
Done safely, night running offers relief from many of the problems daytime runners encounter and adds freshness to your running routine.
Here are five reasons to strap on a headlamp and get your night run on.
Less motor traffic
Especially if you live in urban areas, running during the daytime often means navigating motor traffic.
If you’re the type who hates pausing at crosswalks and jogging in place until you finally get the cue to resume your run, nighttime running might be a better option.
Although it’s arguably easier to see cars at night (just look for the headlights), make sure that you’re also visible to motorists.
Wear bold, reflective clothing and even headlamps or blinking lights (similar to what you’d attach to your bike) so you can’t be missed.
Comfort is important for having successful night runs, so make sure you also have well-fitted shoes and quality shoe inserts (check out this list of best shoe inserts for running if you need suggestions).
Fewer runners and walkers
Crowds not your thing? Nighttime running might be for you.
The throngs of runners, walkers and strollers in popular parks and paths can be frustrating if you just want to focus on your run without weaving through other people.
Night running also lets you avoid the comparison trap that comes up when other runners are around.
Thoughts like, “I should be running as fast as this person!” or, “They sure as heck are not going to pass me!” are demotivating and potentially stressful.
Night running often means fewer distractions, less competition and a chance to get out of your head and away from your ego.
Cooler temperatures and no sun
Especially during the summertime, night running offers relief from the glaring sun and stifling heat.
Who needs that when you’re already working up a sweat?
While cooler temperatures can help you avoid excessive sweating and potential heatstroke, make sure you still bring water on longer runs and add in electrolytes to replenish lost salts.
Dehydration knows no time of day.
New perspectives on old routes
Dedicated runners know that one of the keys to staying motivated is to find new ways to keep running fresh.
Whether it’s training for a goal race or varying your routes and running partners, change helps stave off boredom.
Night running adds a whole new dimension to the experience: not only do things look different at night but your body feels different.
See how your usual route looks and feels at night.
Chances are, you might notice something new.
The high of being a nighttime superhero
Relatedly, there’s a certain satisfaction of getting work done “after hours” that comes from night running.
If you’re a high achiever, you know the empowering feeling that comes from hustling while everyone else is lying low.
And for some folks, like parents or those with busy day jobs, nighttime might be the only time they can squeeze in a run.
Having night runs as an option can ensure you get much-needed time to yourself, in addition to all-important exercise.
And let’s not underestimate how cool it feels to be out in the night, just you and the sound of your feet.
As one devoted night runner puts it, there’s no replacement for “the endorphin rush from blasting at top speed (in your head, if not reality) through the night.”