I have to tell you, I love running at night. Mostly because the only real time I have to train is in the evening, after dinner, while my kids are *hopefully* doing their homework. When I started this night running thing, I have to admit, I didn’t know what I was doing, so I would just throw on my running shoes, plug in my iPod and off I would go. And almost every night I would come pretty close to being plastered all over some speeding vehicle.
So, hoping to stay alive, I went to my local running store and got some great advice.
I’ve noticed, as of late that there are a lot of runners out there who either run early in the morning or late at night who could use that same advice… so here’s what I was told to do, and so far it has worked.
1. Reflective Vest. I don’t care if you’re wearing a white running shirt or not. Vehicles just can’t see you unless you’re lit up like a stinkin’ Christmas Tree. The reflective bits on your shoes or on your water bottle just are not enough. Get yourself a good reflective vest.
2. Butt Light. I hook mine to the back of my vest. It flashes red, and just cannot be ignored by a speeding moron in his BMW. (Sorry Beemer people… most of the vehicles that have almost plastered me to the pavement have been luxury cars… okay… Marxist rant over.)
3. Head light. Mostly so that you can see the big pothole that’s about to toast your ankle.
4. Dump the ear buds. Now this one I just can’t do. I’m sorry. What I do instead is turn them way down, and then I only put one in. That way I can hear the car that is about to smear me into the pavement and the dog that really wants to chew on my Butt Light.
5. Lastly… Run on the left side of the road. You have to run facing oncoming traffic. Not so much for oncoming cars to see you, but for you to see them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to jump out of the way of some kid texting in his Mom’s Minivan. Had they been behind me and I’d been on the right side running with traffic… I’d be a crimson stain.
Night running is peaceful, solitary, happy run for me. I hope that it can be the same for you, if you take the appropriate steps to be safe.