This is what matters when running in the dark
Martin Thielmann runs his running blog under the pseudonym “der Jogger”. There he gives tips on the right equipment, interesting running routes, or training plans. In a voice interview, the 39-year-old from Rostock reveals how it works best in the dark, what to look out for, and who you encounter.
Mr. Thielmann, before I throw myself into expense to be able to go running in the dark — what do I need, what is not so important?
Martin Thielmann: It depends where you go running. If you run in traffic, the easiest thing to do is to pay attention to reflective elements and colors when buying running clothing. This can significantly increase your visibility to other road users. I run almost exclusively through the forests on the Baltic coast, where a neon-colored running jacket doesn’t do much for me. So it’s all the more important for me to have a good running light, which you can get for just under 30 euros.
Which is better — a headlamp or one that I tie around my chest?
Thielmann: I find the wearing comfort of a lamp on the upper body more comfortable than the well-known headlamp. Also, the red taillight of the running lamp is more visible on the upper body than with most headlamps. The long flexible straps that hold the lamp in position at chest height are also provided with reflective strips, which increases the visibility compared to a headlamp.
What do I have to pay particular attention to in the dark? Where are possible dangers lurking?
Thielmann: Danger comes from other road users, especially cars, or obstacles that cannot be seen in the dark. That is why you should pay attention to increasing your visibility and improving your view. That is why I like to run in the dark on paths and roads that I know well and have often run — on my home route I will soon know every root.
Does running in the dark have any other psychological effect? How does it feel different than in daylight?
Thielmann: If you run on familiar paths, running in the dark can be very relaxing. There are no visual distractions and you concentrate fully on what lies ahead. Now and then I enjoy doing this. In the dark, however, I’ve also had encounters with deer, which was pretty exciting and gave me another adrenaline rush on the last meters. But I also love to get to know cities and new areas while running, of course, I prefer to do that in the light.
Are there limits? In what light and weather conditions do you no longer run?
Thielmann: I don’t go running in thunderstorms, i.e. thunder and lightning. Most of the time, we only have one weather front that allows you to run safely after a short time. In a storm, I think a little more carefully beforehand about which route I want to run. I then try to avoid forests and look for tree-free paths. Rain or snow usually don’t stop me from running, here it is only important to wear shoes that have a little more profile, prevent slipping, and wear running clothing that protects against cold and wetness.