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  • Writer's picturesherunsoutdoors

As the nights draw in should we stop having fun on the trails?

Why do we love trail running?

For me trail running gives me the space to explore beautiful places, which is fantastic for both my physical and mental well-being. It makes me feel alive.

I love to push myself, while being in nature, having fun and getting dirty. I have grown as a person by building confidence in my physical ability, making the odd mistake here and there with my curiosity to explore but that adds to the enjoyment. On, top of that the trail running community special and supportive; I have made lifelong friends through races and adventures. Most of all though trail running is about having fun, not taking myself too seriously and bringing out my inner child.

As the nights draw in should we stop having as much fun on the trails? Absolutely not.

What makes running at night so special?

Exploring trails in the dark heightens your senses. You need to concentrate as you run. The trails look and sound different from in the day; it’s a great chance to see and hear wildlife.

When running routes that have little or no light pollution, turn your head lamp off for a while and look at the stars. There is something special about running hills above a town the lights look pretty and you feel alive as your breath is exposed in the night.

Whether you are training for a race that will mean running in the dark and you want to get used to night running first or if you just want to have a nocturnal adventure. The more opportunities you give yourself the more your confidence will grow.

As a coach and run leader here are my 3 top tips for runners, when run at night:

1. Stay safe

Plan your route, I always have my route on my Suunto 9, even familiar trails can look different at night and can be disorientating, and I can always use the find back feature too. I always tell someone where I am going and how long I expect to be. I have Find my phone turned on my fully charged phone just in case I had an accident and always take an extra layer and a first aid kit, including a foil blanket. I recommend grabbing a friend or two or joining a group run; not only is it great fun, doing it with others, it feels reassuringly safer than being on your own. You can find our latest guide night runs on the website. Not only do they give you company and feel safer, but you don’t have to worry about getting lost, because I plan the route and guide you along the trails.