Tips for safe running during gloomy days and winter nights.

The first priority of the Coaching Team is to keep you safe, hence our focus on warm ups and hi viz. This advice is intended to help you stay safe whilst running during the day and at night and how you can help feel safe too. Please note that one of the most dangerous parts of the day is at dusk as drivers feel tired and the day light fades.

Below are some options, one or two may work for you and some contradict each other. It all depends on what works for you.


Route Planning:

  • If you can, run with a partner, group or your dog (but be careful of the trip hazard)
  • Run routes, where you are familiar with your surroundings and options for changing route if you feel concerned by other people or by heavy traffic
  • Running loops around well-lit areas can also help but look out for hazards such as potholes, dustbins and cars opening their doors
  • Conversely, rather than running loops you may prefer to vary your routes and avoid being predictable.
  • Either way, plan your route and let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone. Consider using a GPS tracking
  • Hide your maps on Strava / who can see them. For step-by-step instructions see the guidance from Strava on how to do this.

As always, when running at night dress to be seen and wear hi viz clothing but also add in a head or chest torch to be very visible in the dark. Be seen!

Run confidently, ‘Own the space’ Carry yourself with confidence. Run with a tall posture, chin up and back straight, which are good running techniques

  • Ditch the headphones or use one bud or use a bone conducting headset so you can hear people and cars around you. You will also be race ready!
  • Advice on phones is divided between those you see mobiles as a valuable way to get help. Whilst other say that carrying valuables could be a problem. If you do take your phone keep it out of site but easily accessible.
  • Where possible, run facing the oncoming traffic so you can see as well as see oncoming traffic
  • When passing other road users, on narrow paths, the etiquette is that the person facing oncoming traffic should step in the road when safe to do so.

 If you do encounter any abusive or unwanted behaviour:

  • If someone looks shady or is behaving oddly, cross the street or go the other way. Trust your instincts. Please do not react to it or return the behaviour as it can make the situation worse.
  • Seek help as soon as possible if someone continues to hassle or threaten, find another member of the public and explain what is happening.
  • Try to keep moving and remain calm, it is the quickest way to get you to a safer point. If there is no-one around approach and knock the door of a house or find somewhere safe where you can call 999.

 It might help to carry ID and any medical information with you

Want to be a running Ally?

As we run around our streets, we might inadvertently cause distress or anxiety to other runners or walkers. The advice below may help make a difference

  • If you see another runner ahead, cross over the road and overtake if possible
  • Alternatively, change course or run back for 5 mins, to give space
  • If needs be, run wide of the runner ahead, but be mindful of stepping into traffic
  • Avoid engaging in conversation, it may be misunderstood
  • As always, when running at night, wear hi viz clothing but also add in a head or chest torch to be very visible in the dark to other road users

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact any members of the Coaching Team or the Men’s or Women’s Captains.

GVH Coaching Team December 2022


Changing your Default Preferences (This is a download from Strava):

Once you’ve had a Strava account for at least seven days and you’ve uploaded one activity, the first and last 200 meters of your activity maps will be hidden by default. If you wish to change your default preference, you can do so at any time by following these instructions:

  • On the website, hover over your profile picture in the top right and select Settings from the dropdown menu.
    • Select Controls from the left-hand navigation menu.
    • Look for Map Visibility under “Additional Controls”
  • On the mobile app, open your settings from the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the HomeGroups, or You
    • Select Privacy ControlsEdit Map Visibility.

Use the options below to customize how much of the start or end of an activity is hidden up to a 1-mile radius or hide the entire map. You will be matched to any segments within the hidden portion of the activity; however, your times will not appear on those segment leader boards. In other words, the segment matches within the hidden portions will only be visible to you. Your full activities will still count towards challenges.

  • Option 1: Enter an address to hide the portion of any past or future activity that starts or ends nearby. This selection will apply to all past and present activities.
  • Option 2: Hide the start and end of all activities regardless of where they start or end. This selection will only apply to future activities.
  • Option 3: Hide the entire map. This selection will only apply to future activities.

If you’ve chosen to hide portions of your map near a specific address and the start/end of your activities, and those portions overlap, the larger selection will be applied. For example, if you have a mile hidden around your home address, and ⅛ mile hidden on all activities, the first mile would be hidden from activities that start from your home.

Adjusting Individual Activities

On either the Strava mobile app or website, open the activity you wish to adjust and select the ellipses icon (from the upper right-hand corner on the app and left-hand side on the website).

  • Select Edit Map Visibility.
  • Use the sliders to specify the portion you would like to hide or enable the option to Hide Entire Map.

Editing the map visibility on an individual activity will override any default map visibility preferences. In other words, you can hide more or less of your map than was automatically hidden by your default preferences.