Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What to Wear Running in the Dark 1

For many of us, winter running means being out in the dark. Last night, a runner in NYC was hit by a car through no fault of his own - the driver admitted to being on Percoset while driving. My point is, running in the dark is dangerous, but there are some things we can do to keep ourselves safer.
  • Run on the sidewalk, not street, whenever possible. 
  • Be extra careful when crossing the streets because cars that are turning might not be able to see you until it's too late. 
  • Keep your music, if you listen to any, fairly low, so you can hear cyclists and cars that are coming up from behind. 
  • Dress to be seen.
Many brands boast having reflective elements on their clothes, but often they are just small strips or piping on the sleeve. For example, Lululemon and Road Runner both make mention of their reflective logos. It's a nice touch, but a 1/2-inch logo is not going to be seen by a fast-approaching vehicle.

An inexpensive solution to the problem of being seen at night is one of those reflective vests - sort of like what crossing guards wear. You can pick one up for less than $20 from most outdoor stores. However, they really provide no benefit other than visibility and usually aren't a great fit if you're slim.

My favorite reflective gear is my Illuminite jacket. It is wind and water resistant, so it's a great winter running piece, and the sleeves are covered in a special material that is absolutely brilliant when it comes to reflecting headlights. Plus, it has an iPod pocket in the sleeve and a pocket in back for keys, gels or whatever other small items you want to carry. I think it was designed for cyclists, but it's great for runners, too.

Be safe out there and enjoy your runs!