Saturday, November 20, 2010

What to Wear Running in the Dark

I don't want to be dramatic, but if you exercise outside in the dark without lights, you're running a real risk of being hit by a car or cyclist. Be safe: if you've already invested in running shoes and wicking tops, spend a little extra on gear that will help you be seen:

1) Lights - give drivers up to 60 feet to see you with clip-on lights. The new family favorite light: Amphipod's arm band. Wrap it around the bicep of your street-side arm (should be your right, if you're in the U.S., left in England, etc.).
Headlamps are also good, if you want to light up the path in front of you. However, some people complain of getting motion sick if they watch the light bouncing off the ground.

2) Reflectors - If you're only using reflectors, keep in mind: drivers will not be able to see you until they are about 30 feet away. I like to combine reflection with lights - it doesn't add any bulk and it gives me a chance to sport this ultra-sexy, mesh crossing guard vest with front and back reflective strips!

3) Jacket - the latest addition to my night-time running gear is this fluorescent yellow jacket by Brooks. It is not reflective, so it isn't visible until about 10 feet but the light color gives my lights something bright to bounce off of. Plus, it's wind and water resistant, so it's a good piece for autumn/warm winter runs. Extra bennies: inside pocket that velcros shut for my iPod; silver threads to fight odor; a slightly longer tail, so it's good for biking and running; and a couple small reflective elements (see arrows)

Happy safe running!