Winter is here, and the days seem shorter than ever. It’s dark when you get up in the morning and it’s dark again by the time you’re home.
It’d be easy to throw training aside, using the lack of daylight hours as an excuse, but who are we kidding?
Real Mudders won’t let the winter interrupt their training. Even if you are afraid of the dark, get your Mudder brother and sisters together to give you some encouragement. You say yourself in the Tough Mudder pledge: Mudders overcome all fears.
Here are 6 tips for running in the dark
1. Be Safe Be Seen
Listen to the Road Safety Authority’s advice. Make sure you’re wearing reflective, brightly coloured clothing from your head to your toes, including your shoes. That way, road users will easily spot you.
If where you’re running is poorly lit, consider using a headlamp to ensure that you can see where you’re going. A headlamp could also minimise the risk of injuring yourself.
2. Run Against the Traffic
The RSA recommends that pedestrians always walk/jog/run against oncoming traffic, making it easier for you to react to vehicles and any potential dangers.
Be cautious – if you are running on roads in the dark it might be a good idea to slow down. Put your safety first and get your PB during the daytime.
3. Leave the Headphones at home
A good beat can sometimes be enough to push you through a workout. But when running in the dark, it’s better to have your wits about you and listen out for cars.
You never know, you might even enjoy the change of pace, and find that running without headphones can be somewhat therapeutic.
4. Bring your team
As the saying goes, there’s safety in numbers. Get your team to join you, and you get the added bonus of having accountability, making it more likely that you won’t skip a run for a cosy night in.
If your team can’t join you, make sure you let someone know your route and when you expect to be back.
5. Carry ID with you
We know that it’s easier to go running with as little to carry as possible, but practicality needs to come before convenience when running in the dark. Having ID with you means that if you do get hurt, it will be easier for your friends and family to get you and be contacted.
You’ll be wearing layers anyways to suit the colder temperatures, so you should have plenty of pocket space. However, if your ID seems to bulky to bring with you, consider getting a Road ID wristband.
6. Stick to what you know
Rain, wind, fog and even snow are common weather conditions in Ireland during the winter, and they all can reduce visibility while running.
If you think conditions are safe enough for you to run in, follow a route you’re familiar with. This way, you’re less likely to tire yourself out or get lost, plus someone will know where you are if something goes wrong.
Tough Mudder training involves overcoming challenges, and the weather can sometimes be just that. Therefore, changing weather conditions can add to your training. Just remember that your safety always comes first, and if conditions are unsafe, take a cheeky night off, or else opt for a gym or home workout.