Running at night or late at night, when visibility drops to almost zero, is not perceived positively by everyone, and for good reason. In more “running” countries on popular routes, as darkness falls, you can see strings of lights on suburban hills alternating with the game of reflectors from afar. It’s the night runners who come out to train.
One way or another, all the inhabitants of the Northern Territories will have to face the prevalence of the dark time of day with the onset of winter. This, however, should be seen as a boon for the development of their skills and even, to some extent, superpowers.
Достоинства ночного бега
Without going around the bush, I’ll list the main advantages of night running.
1. In most cases, the body is more positive to evening exercise than to morning exercise. By the end of the working day the body temperature is always higher than in the morning, and the levels of the hormones cortisol and thyrotropin reach their maximum values in the evening, strongly affecting energy metabolism.
It is important to understand that, for example, temperature, like many other biorhythms, follows the diurnal cycle of the sun, not our level of activity. People who work at night and sleep during the day exhibit the same cycle of temperature change as the rest of us.
2. the bulk of the people finish working in the afternoon. And it seems that most workers apparently don’t like their jobs. Why engage in a job one does not like is another question. But the fact is that wage earners tend to dismiss all work-related problems and issues after leaving the workplace.
And here is the time for mental relaxation and meditative jogging, repeatedly raising the mood and wiping all sorts of mess out of your head.
3. based on several studies, including personal ones, we can state that darkness has a miraculous effect on sensory perception, reduces feelings of fatigue and increases the pace of running while making it easier.
Probably it is connected not only with the evening increase of activity of the organism, but also with psychological factors. They are formed when moving in a pseudo-closed space, the boundaries of which are defined only by the beam of a headlamp.
4. Some people think that running before going to bed has a negative effect on the subsequent process of falling asleep. Not at all, on the contrary. Jogging can be compared to taking a warm bath; it calms and normalizes blood pressure, as well as balances out the stress of the day.
When they talk about the negative effect of evening training on sleep, they are referring exclusively to stressful (team) sports, which have a large competitive and gambling component. It contributes to bursts of the hormone adrenaline, which maintains high levels for a long time.
5. As darkness falls, there are fewer distractions: pedestrians with their cigarettes and dogs, cars with their noise and exhaust.
6. Running in the dark with a flashlight is excellent for developing proprioceptive skills. In other words, the sense of body parts and their position in space becomes more accurate and coordination is improved, making movement safer and the nervous system responsive.
7. Darkness trains reaction speed. After all, logs, stones, cats and pits suddenly appearing on the running surface require the body to immediately correct the course or fully mobilize the spring properties of the locomotor system, including the active mode of dodging tree branches. This factor can also be considered as a training for the development of intuitive abilities.
К счастью, тонкий отражающий слой прозрачных клеток в глазах большинства животных возвращает свет от внешнего источника и, пронизывая сетчатку, заставляет их глаза светиться. Поэтому, в отличие от обычного классического пешехода, ночью зверюшек видно хорошо и достаточно далеко.
8. A headlamp when running in the dark is an excellent indicator of proper technique. By the light spot on the pavement you can monitor whether your vertical and lateral vibrations are strong. Of course, this is far from an indicator, but it is good if the light moves smoothly across the surface, without bouncing or flailing from side to side.
It should be specified that the vertical amplitude of movement of the light spot can be increased by excessive movement of the flashlight together with the skin on the forehead. To get rid of this harmful defect, it is enough to move its body close to the eyebrows.
9. You can’t do without night races when preparing for trail rides. Some of them have relatively short distances that can fit into the daylight hours. However, when it comes to ultramarathons, half of the participants not only start long before dawn, but arrive at the finish line when it’s already dark again.
All of these advantages of night running will probably be crossed out by the statement that there is a higher chance of injury. Yes, trail runs are treacherous even during the day, but at night our perception is heightened and the body moves more cautiously.
Therefore, if there is no accumulation of fatigue or, even more so, symptoms of overtraining, then with a good flashlight you can run safely almost anywhere, just by following an adequate speed mode. And then, to fear the wolves is not to walk in the woods.
For running in the dark, of course, the headlamp ranks first in importance among the equipment. There are many varieties, but for us the most important thing is lightness, compactness and ability to illuminate a surface a couple of meters in front of us. Water resistance and durability also play an important role, so everything super cheap is hardly worth considering.
The most budgetary and suitable for beginner runners headlamp could be found in Decathlon for 300 rubles. Of course, it cannot be considered as a serious alternative to such brands as Petzl. It is unlikely it will be handy for serious jogging. But it will do for an evening jog in the city. The 2xAAA batteries are enough for 40 hours, and rain and snow are not a problem for it.
There is one bright LED on the board, which from a height of 186 cm more or less illuminates the pavement, the path in the woods, puddles and foreign objects. Not as a spotlight, but you can see where you’re running. Its main pluses are price and maximum simplicity. Decathlon also has flashlight models with a powerful light beam.
Reflective clothing elements are just as important as a flashlight. It is thanks to them that you will be noticed from afar by every driver or cyclist if they have any external lights on. And also, of course, another runner with a headlamp. Today, reflective inserts on running equipment are an accepted norm and self-respecting manufacturers do not skimp on them.
Otherwise, you can get a mesh vest for running with wide reflective stripes, in which you all are sure to notice at a great distance.
Especially prudent and careful runners in urban conditions additionally attach a red flashing light to the backpack. Such beacons are better to buy dual-purpose, so that they are equally well and conveniently attached to the backpack and to the seatpost of the bicycle.
In general, the rule is exactly the same as in cycling: the more you look like a Christmas tree, the more grateful you will be for this drivers and pedestrians.
In uninhabited wilderness areas, as in the old days, there is still the danger of being attacked by people with all kinds of mental problems. For this reason, it is advisable for women to take at least one physically fit man who can maintain a given pace and topic of conversation with them on their jogs.