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What To Wear For Safe Night Running
Keep On Running Outside When Darkness Falls
The start of winter often leads to decreases in levels of light and an earlier fall of darkness. This can pose a challenge for both seasoned runners and beginners in terms of adaptation to the conditions.
Running outdoors at night provides a freedom that is seldom offered by many other sports as darkness hits. It sends many cyclists indoors but runners can thrive in the darkness. As long as they have the right clothing for running in the dark.
Getting Home From Work In The Dark Is Never A Good Motivator
As you arrive home from work at 18:00 hrs and it's already dark. The log fire and latest episode of Mad Men, Scrubs, Coronation Street or whatever your guilty pleasure is going to start soon. But you really, really need to go for a run.
It takes a huge degree of commitment to continue running on those cold, dark and sometimes wet nights. It adds further challenge to your training. With a few choice purchases and attention to what you purchase for your daytime running apparel you could kit yourself out for winter and night-time running to beat the elements whilst staying focused on your training.
This article will introduce you to some of the must have (and supplementary) items and gear for night time running
Cover Up Those Knees For Winter Running Health
Cover Up Those Knees
Where we live there's a competition within the Postal Service between the Posties as to who can stay in their shorts for the longest period time each year. Some even make it all the way through the year in their shorts. And some local runners fight for similar honours.
Can you go year round in just your shorts? And realistically should you?
As a runner your knees are very important to you. Exposing them to the elements is a sure-fire way to knee problems in future. The synovial fluid which is responsible for keeping your knee joint working smoothly can be affected by extreme cold and lead to future health problems. Get those knees covered up.
Keep Your Night Time Runs As Your Shorter Runs
Due to the decreased safety and visibility when running at night. Don't just think about yourself as drivers need to negotiate the more challenging driving conditions too. No matter how visible you make yourself for night time running it's not going to be close to the level of visibility seen during daylight hours.
Keep your longer runs for daytime hours when you'll be taking far fewer chances and stick to steady runs of less than an hour unless you're on closed tracks or in a local park which is a controlled environment.
Lose The Headphones For Night Time Running
Stop wearing those headphones for night time runs. Your ears are a vital sense and there's a high possibility you'll need their use when running at night. Save the headphones and loud music for daylight hours when you can be more visibly aware of what's going on around you.
Nike Shield Winter Running Vest
Go Hi Viz With A Gilet. Including Reflective Piping For Visibility
A hi viz vest is a great investment for night time running. A gillet will allow your arms freedom of movement and your body to be visible to motorists and other road users. On cold winter nights a mid weight or wind proof vest top will help preserve your core temperature too.
If you're on a budget and don't wish to spend a fortune on a running specific high visibility vest you could always borrow one from work or pick up a more simplistic workman's version for peanuts at a local hardware shop.
Your priority for running at night is to be seen and safe- not fashion statements.
Layer Up And Check The Weather Forecast
Dressing right for your running conditions is a big part of the battle as when you're running at night there's no sun to provide warmth and subsequently air temperatures can plummet as a result.
Therefore be prepared to run in temperatures which feel cooler than those during the day time.
Light UP Your Life For Night Time Running
A couple of items you might want to consider depending on your night running requirements are.
- . Not a requirement but a good additional item to have if you're heading into the woods in a group (XC Night running is awesome but takes some cojones). A good head torch will help to cut through the darkness on quite, dark country roads to light up your way and choose a safe route. Oncoming motorists can also see the main beam to attract their attention to be aware of the presence of something up ahead. Head Torch
- Rear Flashing LED Light. Cars and bicycles need rear lights at night so for a runner it makes sense to have one too for additional visibility to other road and path users from a far. Look for LED's that will clip to the back of your jacket or alternately flashing, reflective LED armbands are a great way at enhancing your visibility to others and can go round your upper arm or ankles for improved 360 degree visibility.
What Additional Winter Running Gear Do You Use?
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Enjoy your night time runs
Liam Hallam - CyclingFitness