It’s that time of year to pull out your reflective gear for your evening or pre-dawn runs. For a rule of thumb, consider lighting yourself until the sun has risen or about half an hour before it sets. To make sure you are completely visible on the road think about layering.
Start with a base layer of illuminiation, say a reflective vest. Then add on blinking lights, wrist or ankle bands and a headlamp or Knuckle Lights. You want to be easily identifiable from a distance so there’s no mistake and that cars and bicyclists can steer clear.
Here are some of the products I recommend. I do not get paid for these links or endorsments. fyi.
Clip a blinking light on the front AND back of you. Often times you switch direction (on an out and back) and forget that you’ve left your rear exposed. I like this style by Nathan and you can get both for $17 on Amazon.
You know those safety vests that construction workers wear? They are inexpensive and are highly reflective. If you prefer something a bit sleeker and won’t make you feel that you’re directing airplaned on the tarmac, here is a good option. Again, I bought mine on Amazon.
LED Running Vests
- My friend swears by this LED running vest because it’s lighweight to wear and she’s totally visible in the dark. I don’t know where she purchased hers but you can, you guessed it, find it on Amazon.
- These little beauties illuminate the street, sidewalk or path very well. If, however, you carry a waterbottle or your phone, they might be too cumbersome. But for short runs you can’t beat them. Get yours at www.knucklelights.com.
- As tempting that 3-pack of utility head lamps looks at your local hardware store, keep moving. A good running headlamp is lightweight, has a small headband that is snug and secure. You can find them at REI, a running store or Amazon.
A few thoughts on safety if you run alone in the dark.
- Vary your running routes often.
- Even if you’re lit up like a Christmas tree and are holding your pepper spray, and a phone, steer clear of dark alleys, long stretches of unpopulated roads or cutting through parks.
- Always let someone know where you’re running and when you expect to return.
- If you run with music or listen to an audiobook, keep the volume low and only use one earbud.
I find running in the pre-dawn hours to be really peaceful and with a few precautions I feel safe on my runs. I hope you will too.
Now go run!