Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Running Safety in the Dark

During our Midwest winters, the sun rises pretty late and sets pretty early, so there is a good chance that some, if not all, our running is done in the dark. Unless you drive to a gym and run on the treadmill or run on an enclosed track, safety in terms of visibility should be a priority. There are two ways to accomplish this, passive and active.

RoadID Reflective Wrist BandsRoadID Reflective Shoe Laces

Passive visibility involves wearing bright clothing with reflective panels. RoadID's business is first and foremost to provide information in case of accident, but they are also dedicated to protecting people. Two products I've received recently are prime examples of this:
  • The Reflective Wrist is constructed with neon yellow elastic and a super-reflective 3M Scotchlite reflective stripe. The reflective material wraps around the entire wrist - 360 degrees of visibility!
  • The Reflective Shoe Laces allow you to increase your visibility by practically turning your entire shoe into a reflective surface.

Dorcy Headlamp

Active visibility means wearing a light, either a strobe or lighted vest, but more commonly a headlamp. There are plenty of specialty headlamps on the market, in every price range imaginable. The 41-2097 134 Lumen Headlight Spot Beam from Dorcy is a good example of a headlamp that works for multiple uses: running, work around the house, pretty much anywhere. Full power, half power and strobe mode give you 3 brightness modes that will work for a variety of situations. Yu can also try one of the Dorcy LED flashlights if you prefer a handheld.

I find it's best, for me, to have a combination of passive and active measures -- the headlamp is especially useful when running on trails, ensuring a better chance of avoiding pitfalls and staying on my feet.

Disclaimer: These items were sent to me, free of charge. Some information was taken from the company websites. All opinions are my own.

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  1. Awesome gear that! I am very safety aware as her in SA runners are run over more than is normal I think. My winter runs are all in the dark so I am very well equipped. So important!

    1. Interesting that so many more are run over in SA. I find the active visibility also helps me keep my footing, for that aspect of safety.

  2. I usually only run at night in my neighborhood with street lighting (though I noticed the last time two street lights aren't functional). So I mostly wear reflective gear, but could probably stand to use a headlamp now that I own one (Princeton Tec was the consensus brand among the adventure racing crews).

  3. I tried the headlamps and don't like the weight. A simple reflective vests works best for me but obviously doesn't do much for seeing the road. I usually run where I know there are street lights and I also know the road and it's ruts pretty well.

  4. My whole crew uses headlamps for our morning runs. I have a Petzel brand, which I've been pretty happy with so far. Several of us also don reflective vests. It all helps!

  5. I can't risk turned ankles at my elevated age... :) so I do not run at night unless of course it is finishing up an IM.. then I have used my handy dandy headlamp from Home Depot..


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