Friday, November 17, 2006

Running in the Dark

As it's getting harder and harder to get outside while the sun is still up, it's a good time of year to invest in some running gear that will keep you warm and safe. Look for jackets, gloves, pants and hats that have reflective material on them. The Scotchbrite material on a lot of running gear is excellent for reflecting the light from headlights back at the driver. Being seen is the single biggest safety feature you can have. You can also get lights to attach to yourself for added protection that are well worth the $20.

Ask your friends and family to look for these features in any running gear they buy you for Christmas or to get you a gift card for your local running store. Some stores actually has a wish list that you can put items in for others to buy for you.

Talking of safety, here's a few more tips. If you're running on the road due to snow or no sidewalks, always run facing the traffic. If the driver doesn't see you, you always have the option of diving in the snowbank or bush. If they hit you from behind, you don't have that option. If it's icy, take shorter steps and slow down. If it's dark, tell someone where you are going and how long you expect to be. Try to vary your routes and times of running. When it gets very cold, always start your runs heading into the wind, you're less likely to go out too far and you'll be nice and warm coming back. Never presume that drivers have seen you, even if they are looking right at you.

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