When I was training for my first marathon, most of my weekday runs were logged indoors. From easy runs to ‘track’-style speed workouts and even sprint intervals, the community gym just 200 feet from my condo’s front door was my haven. While it was nice to be able to blast music through my iPod or catch up on the morning news however, the main reason that I was running on the treadmill was this: I was afraid of the dark.
You see, with my 8 AM to 5 PM job, plus two hours of grad school classes two days a week, the “best” time for me to run is usually 5 AM. Even during the summer, those wee hours can be dark and yes, kind of scary.
Despite my fear, I knew that outdoor running would enhance my training plan, so I made my first attempt to switch to outdoor runs in the spring. Armed with a headlamp and reflective clothing, I thought I was ready to brave the great outdoors. While it did take a little getting used to, breaking out of my morning treadmill routine was going pretty well – for about a week. I was enjoying the quiet, embracing the serenity of the dawn breaking…
…until that fateful morning – February 1 – a day that will live in (my) running infamy: my first BIG fall. I’ll spare you all the graphic imagery, but there was definitely blood (and tears) involved. After that morning, I swore off running in the dark for several months – opting to squeeze in after work runs or retreating back to my cushy treadmill sanctuary.
Until the treadmill broke.
Without my safety net, I was once again feeling lost. How would I get my runs in? Could I return to those solitary morning runs?
To be honest, I really had no choice. Training had to happen – and as much as I wished it to be true, I don’t have the ability to extra daylight hours. So two weeks ago, I renewed my commitment to outdoor early morning runs and haven’t looked back since – and here’s WHY I now LOVE them:
So, if you’re thinking about branching out and running in a different environment or time of day, here’s your chance to go out and TRY it – and if at first you don’t succeed, well…you know how that goes
For more on running in the dark, check out Kevin’s 5 Eye-Opening Tips For Running In Darkness!
What time of the day do you usually run? What would be the ideal time for you? How do you deal with visibility problems when you have to run in the dark? Please share in the comment section below.