As the days get depressingly shorter and winter approaches, it’s time to think about getting some high viz gear out. Last night I set off with the sun on my back, only to return a few hours later in complete darkness. Needless to say I hadn’t bothered taking any measures to make myself more visible. This is why it is so important to remember that when the sun is setting, visibility becomes massively reduced, and you need to make yourself as noticeable as possible to motorists and cyclists. Whether you’re night running only part of your journey on a country lane or a well lit city street, you will still need to make some simple changes to stay safe. Your certainly not short of choice when it comes to high-viz kit, and there’s something out there to suit every budget. Here are a five things to consider if you’re going to be out night running:
1. Use Common Sense
Plan ahead. You may not be setting off in the dark, but will it be going dark while you’re out? Choose sensible colours for running at night, if possible wear white. Even if you don’t have any special high-viz clothes, white stands out and reflects light. Finally tell someone where you are going. If you get into trouble then someone will need to know where you are.
Wearing a high visibility jacket or vest is an excellent way to keep yourself visible because it covers such a large area of your body. Often they are made of polyester which means they can withstand any rain or wind (a must at this time of year!) Here is a reasonably priced vest with excellent reviews – Hi Viz Vest.
3. Hi-Viz Footwear
Your feet are always moving, so it’s a great idea to have some high visibility trainers. I would personally recommend Asics Gel DS Trainers 15 for low light running. They aren’t just practical, but comfortable too. Not too pricey at around £90.
4. Cheap and Cheerful
Short of cash? Well there’s no excuse not to stay safe with cheap accessorises. You can buy stick on fluorescent dots and dashes for very little money. Here are some fluorescent wrist snaps.
At £4.50 they’re an absolute bargain! What’s great about attaching reflective gear to your wrists or ankles is that these are the parts of your body that are moving the most, making you extra visible!
A head torch is an absolute must for trail runners or people who live out in the countryside. If you’re caught out in the dark without a torch you’ll end up head first in a bush long before you make it home! Not only do they help you see where you are going but they alert others to your presence as well. Unfortunately a good running head torch isn’t cheap or pretty because it needs to be very secure to stay in place. I would recommend this one from wiggle.co.uk – http://www.wiggle.co.uk/petzl-tactikka-xp-adapt-head-torch/