With the heat and humidity of summer fast approaching, it’s safe to say that the runners amongst us are starting to feel a little anxious. Soon, those early-morning jogs before work and weekend 5ks won’t be so easy and – instead of being enjoyable – they’ll turn into sweaty and sticky torture sessions. That’s why it’s time to start switching up your running schedule and pounding the pavements at night instead.
Not only will it offer some respite from the scorching sun, but the temperature will also be slightly cooler and running will feel a little more bearable. Goodness tapped running expert and Senior Marketing Manager at PUMA, Samyukta Ranganathan, to find out her top tips on how to stay safe when running under the stars. Read on to find out more and get inspired to grab those sneakers once the sun has set.
“Wearing bright and reflective clothing is crucial, so that others can spot you whilst you’re running in the dark,” says Ranganathan. “There are lots of clothing options, such as the ‘NightCat’ collection from PUMA, which has 360-degree visibility during low-light conditions and innovative reflective print in the front, on the sleeves, and a panel on the back. There’s also an iridescent reflective logo, highly reflective zipper, and other reflective details to ensure that you’re seen on the road.”
Caution with Cars
You probably never even thought about it, but the direction in which you run at night is incredibly important when it comes to staying safe, especially if you’re out on the roads. “Facing traffic gives you a clear view of oncoming vehicles in case you need to make any last-minute maneuvers,” explains Ranganathan.
Find a Friend
Not only can running with a friend spur you on and make you run farther and faster than ever, but it’s also a great way to keep some company when you’re out at night. “Safety in numbers, especially when it’s dark. This will also make your workout more sociable and enjoyable!”
Skip the Music
“Listening to music while running may help to keep you motivated, but it can also be a dangerous combo,” warns Ranganathan. “As your vision is already reduced because of the lack of light, it’s important that your hearing is not impaired, especially when crossing roads.” Try skipping your usual playlist and focus on your breathing as you run instead – it can seriously improve your performance!
“The best time to run is one and a half to two hours after a light snack. It’s important to eat before working out so you can train longer without fatiguing, and therefore reach your goals faster,” Ranganathan recommends. “When you exercise, your muscles are using glycogen stores for fuel, and some of the proteins in your muscles get broken or damaged. Eat something light, like a healthy energy bar, as these tend to be light on the stomach and easily digested – a perfect pre-run snack. Bananas are also great as they’re high in potassium and carbs, which keep energy levels high. If you prefer to run after your dinner, make your larger meal a combination of lean protein, like chicken, with rice and vegetables. A bigger meal will keep energy levels higher if you’re working out for longer, and this combination is low in fat and holds no fiber, making it easy to digest.”
“After exercise, your body tries to rebuild glycogen stores and repair and grow muscle proteins. Eating the right nutrients within the 45 minutes after working out will help your body repair faster. Protein-rich food repairs muscle tissue and restocks spent energy stores, and this will kickstart the recovery process so that you can bounce back quickly for your next workout. Try eating tuna post-run. It’s packed with protein, which helps with muscle repair.”
If these tips have inspired you to head for a nighttime run this week, click here to sign up to the final #IGNITEDXB Night Run that’s taking place this Wednesday, April 12th. With both 5k and 10k options, participants will pave their way across the illuminated Meydan Bridge, with views of the Downtown Dubai skyline as a backdrop. You get a PUMA goody bag, post-race refreshments, and a seriously fun workout whilst you’re at it.