Today marks the beginning of National Running Safety Month. As we turn the clocks back next weekend, being safe and aware during our runs becomes doubly important – as much of our running will take place in darkness.
But fret not – nighttime running in the winter can be absolutely magical! Like when there’s some fresh snow and all you can hear is the crunching of your feet, or when you run by house after house decked out in Christmas lights, or when it takes every bit of strength you have to get out into the cold, but you end up having one of your best runs ever.
All these reasons and more make winter running great! But there are steps that every runner should take to keep themselves safe on the roads:
BE CHOOSY ABOUT YOUR ROUTE
If your favorite summertime route includes uneven terrain, minimal sidewalks, and inconsistent streetlights, you might want to reconsider for the winter months. Choose a route that is well-lit and has nice wide sidewalks.
RUN AGAINST TRAFFIC
Always try to run against traffic when you can, so you can see oncoming cars. It’s easier to avoid it if you can see it! And it’s easier for drivers to see you – which brings us to our next point…
Cover yourself in reflective gear! The more, the better. You might think you look ridiculous – but wouldn’t you rather have a motorist say to themselves, ‘Wow, that person way up ahead looks ridiculous’ than hit you with their car?! Yeahhh…
CLICK HERE to learn more about the science of vision and how you can maximize your reflective gear to stay safe on the roads.
Reflective gear will help drivers see you, and lights will help you see the road. If you’re doing a lot of nighttime running, you might think about investing in a good headlamp, or some knuckle lights. Stop by your nearest Marathon Sports to check out the selection!
RUN WITH A BUDDY
Strength in numbers, right? While nighttime running can be fantastic, it also can present some danger, especially for female runners. Try to run with a friend or a group when you can. Need some new running buddies? Join one of our weekly run clubs! CLICK HERE for schedule and locations.
DITCH THE EARBUDS
It all comes down to staying aware of your surroundings. If you absolutely must run with music, make sure the volume is low enough that you can hear your footsteps – or do what I did during Ragnar Reach the Beach – ditch the headphones, put your phone in your Spibelt and turn on the music. You’ll still get your jams but are significantly more aware of the road and surroundings. You’re like a running stereo!
All throughout the month, we’ll be sharing our favorite reflective apparel and accessories as well as tips and tricks to help you stay safe out there. We look forward to sharing National Running Safety with you!