Trail running at night!


1 to 20 of 27 messages
04/10/2007 at 16:40

Anyone got any tips for seeing at night now are days are getting shorter?

Would love to keep up the running (now aiming for a sub 40m 10k) but still want to stick to trail stuff. Did it last night and it was pretty tricky in near darkness!

 Head torch or something? Not worried about looking daft!

04/10/2007 at 16:42
has this months rw mag got some pictures of people sporting the very thing your lookin for
04/10/2007 at 16:48

Petzl Tikka XP are pretty good...have one myself and used it on numerous occasions. THe Myo is meant to be even brighter.

Failing that eat lots of carrots.

04/10/2007 at 18:25

Learn your route well in daylight then use a headtorch for the night run. Even on trails wear flourescent clothing, you never know if you may need to change to a road route to get home for some reason. Don't spend your life savings on the torch, look at Mountain Warehouse products or just local hardware stores. I have a  combined blue/white LED 10 bulb headtorch that I use for pitch black XC running! Cost £15 from MW 2 years ago, still on first set of batteries.

Angle the torch down if you're approaching cars or pedestrians [is that too obvious to state?!].

And remember you're very likely to terrify any little old, dog-walking grannies straight out of their wellies running around in the dark! Learn to shout a friendly hello!!

An extra nugget of info for anyone reading who does run on roads at night - I also have a small flat torch pinned to my 'roadside' hip. It gives drivers a much clearer idea of where you are if the edge of the road is dark. I've had loads of positive remarks yelled at me for that one!!

Happy winter plodding folks - here it comes. 

04/10/2007 at 18:54


         good idea what touch do you use for that? being a bit thick can't think what to us.

04/10/2007 at 18:54

s*d it!

Red bike LCD cliped to arm band!

04/10/2007 at 20:59
Cheers all - some handy tips.
Will check out RW - already have a hi vis from cycling and it looks really daft!
04/10/2007 at 21:39

Hi Taff,

My 'hip' light was something I got from a horsey shop for wearing around your riding boot. Anything that isn't so heavy it pulls you over sideways is going to do the trick though. It's just to give drivers a reference point really.

This might be a link to Mountain warehouse and they might have something useful. Or I might be living in cuckoo land.

06/10/2007 at 18:48

Evening all,

I’m new to this lifestyle; anyway felt I could add my 2 cents.

I’m partially sighted and I like to run in the evening and at night (30:30), I know it seems a bit odd, nevertheless, I find it easier than trying to work out what everyone else is doing coming the other way.

I found that keeping away from road traffic is good for your eyes and ears, and you then don’t need reflective clothing, I don’t use a touch so not to draw attention to myself, as its at night, I can happily run on the pavements through residential areas.

I also run around public areas such as parks & woods. People tell me it’s dangerous and indeed, I’ve noticed the odd underside of civilisation here or there, but I know where I am, that I can out run them and where to get help, so that’s not an issue.

Learn your route well in the daylight, (important if you haven’t done the route of a while) and then in lower light levels, things can look quite different when all the light sources change.

Know your escape routes as well; don’t run where you have no access to help, don’t take expressive items or music but if you are so inclined, take a personal alarm and know how to use it effectively.

08/10/2007 at 17:48

Have a loog at this article, "Stay-safe Winter Running Tips" - By Alison Hamlett

I would rebut a few of the notes therein, but such things are only a matter of different experiences, good stuff:

09/10/2007 at 18:01

Perhaps trail running at night leading to trail racing at night?

I don't know if anyone has heard of the Sleepwalker Midnight Marathon event in Brecon - I marshalled for the race this year and there was a real buzz about the place, even more so on completion. I was so impressed with the participant feedback that I'm running it next year. So like some of you guys, headtorch on this winter to clock up some trail miles in preparation for the 2008 Sleepwalker. Must say that after doing a couple of runs in the dark already this year the experience is that your senses really become tuned to the activity, makes you feel very sharp and alive! Jay

10/10/2007 at 10:16

I keep running through the long evenings (not to mention ice and snow) here in Norway and this is my 2 crowns' worth:

  • give youself a whole handful of brownie points for being out there at all
  • use a headtorch that has some flood or waste light to the sides, otherwise you feel like you're running in a tunnel
  • wear things with retro-reflective patches - fluorescence doesn't work from headlights
  • pick trails you know well or make sure the trail doesn't have stumbling points you're not aware of, like pointy rocks or treeroots
  • If you need accompaniment to avoid boredom, listen to speech podcasts or audiobooks that are fine in mono, instead of music, and through one earbud, not two, so you can keep in touch with what's happening around (and not get spooked by shadows
  • if you're good at getting up in the morning, ask your boss if you can come in to work a bit early and leave a bit early so you still have some dusk to run in
  • if it's liable to be icy or packed snow that you might not see to avoid, consider purpose-made shoes with spikes (I don't mean track shoes). At a push you can use stretch-over spike-sets, but they're not as good to run in.
  • find out if there are any lit tracks or stadiums in the neighbourhood and use those for some sessions like intervals
  • there's no shame in walking a tricky bit - in the dark, no-one can see you
11/10/2007 at 22:10

ooh just stumbled across this thread - just what I was lookign for  have a loony dog who needs to be let off the lead twice a day or he's too mental in the house, but only place can let him off is an unlit country park. don't have time to run and walk dog separately, so was wondering how I'd manage in the dark. MW have some £15 head torches as Limper says, and they're buy one get one free at the mo - very handy as I'm a vet so will stick the free one in the car for those middle of the night moments in a field where a light comes in handy!!!!

 and for the girls they're selling a really cute little pink maglite for breast cancer care too. bought that for the mornings I'm walking not running.

 just hope stuff will actually come soon with the postal strike

14/10/2007 at 21:19

I have a nice 1 mile circuit just outside, well lit and I run with the traffic so as not to get blinded by oncoming cars, no head gear required and tjere's a good grass verge, so no problems with other pedestrians.


14/10/2007 at 21:44
I have 3 dogs and I put head torhes around there necks. It looks like low flying space ships when we are out in the fells at night. Mayo torches are the best.
15/10/2007 at 07:58
What's a Mayo torch, Sleepless?
15/10/2007 at 21:18

A Mayo is a Petzel myo XP head torch. - good enough to eat.

I ment to say Myo not Mayo.

Loads of Fellrunners use them and I have been MTBiking in the forest and have spoken to a few fellow bikers who use them for night riding.

15/10/2007 at 21:58
It's annoying when the dark nights come in , those brilliant down the canal runs through woods and round fileds all go in favour of running on footpaths along the roads. I couldn't use a head torch safely and get a decent run in - it's the streets for my one week night run . Sunday mornings will still be OK but the weather usually is awful ( it having been OK Sat / Sun afternoon!!)
16/10/2007 at 10:09

Ah, thankyou Sleepless. I actually have one one them, the Myobelt XP belt battery-pack version.

Haven't used it since last yr so forgot what it is called. I quite liked it except it's a bit of a faff to thread the power cord down the back of my shirt, along with iPod cable. Plus I find it hard to find the switches with gloved hands. Wondered if you had comments on the headmounted battery-pack version?

 Mike, I don't see what the safety problem is. The above lamps have a switchable diffusor between spot and flood, for example, if you're worried about falling in the canal

19/10/2007 at 18:34

I know what you mean Steve, I feel like a robotic runner sometimes, Ipod, light cable, (sometimes the Sunnto T3 GPS arm strap- sometime just the forerunner) heart rate strap, mobile phone on longer routes strapped to the other arm, dog leads, argh!!

The headtorch mounted battery pack- is the small baby myo version. it is supposed to be great. some folk say it is abit heavy. But I sometimes run with 2 head torches on the front and a rear back light from my MTB on the back of my head.


I also find putting head torches around my 3 dogs necks helps light up the path and I get to see where the path is in advance-

Team work.

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