Hi Running Buddies! 

How is your running going? Are you getting your miles in? If you are like me, you do most of your training runs after work and since it is winter that means it's dark. Lame! Today I want to talk to you about running safely at night with the help of Nite Ize. 

Disclaimer: I received a box of Nite Ize products thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

Safety Tips for Running at Night

PictureDon't mind me, just lit up like a Christmas tree...
First let's go over some safety tips for running at night.
  1. Don't run alone. Call me, I'll run with you!
  2. Run in a public place with other crazy people exercising in the dark.
  3. Don't wear all black! (The Hubbo is bad about this!) 
  4. Be seen! Wear light-up accessories so you look like a freaking Christmas tree ::Insert Christmas Tree Emoji Here::
  5. Tell somewhere when you are leaving and when they can expect you to be back
  6. Don't assume the car will stop for you.
  7. Keep your cell phone with you in case you need to call someone. 
  8. Know your route and have a backup route in case something interferes.
  9. Obviously - Don't talk to strangers! Stranger danger should still be alive and well even in your adult life. 
  10. Wear a headlamp to avoid holes and other ankle injuring obstacles. 

How Nite Ize Can Help You Stay Safe

Nite Ize (Night Eyes) has a ton of helpful products on their website that aren't all related to running in the dark. They have everything from mobile device accessories to LED accessories to hardware. Click here to see more of their products. But today we are going to be focusing on being seen by cars, cyclists, and other runners to help us train safely at night.

First let's talk about the  Shoe Lit shoe lights. I got a pink one and a green one. They have other colors as well such as red and blue. These are super easy clip to your shoe through your laces. I've had mine on my shoes for 2 weeks and I never take them off. I don't even notice them when I'm not running at night. You can order them online for $4.49 and make all your running buddies jealous, right Angie? :)  

If you were a child of the 90's like myself you will totally be super excited about this one. It's a light up slap bracelet! The SlapLit retails for $11.99 and is full of safety, fun, and nostalgia! 
(Photo bombing Chihuahua not included.)

SlapLit in the dark.
Every runner needs a good headlamp. When I first put this one and walked outside to the road in front of my house I had to be super careful because this is so bright it was shining across the street onto my neighbors house! I didn't want them to think someone was trying to peek in their windows even though I was on my side of the street! Ain't nobody got time to get arrested for being a peeping Tom-Runner! 
The STS Inova Headlamp comes in blue, orange, and charcoal and retails for $34.99. 
The cool thing about this headlamp is that you swipe across the top to turn it on. If you swipe one way it is a white light that is super bright. If you swipe the other way it is a red light! It's called Swipe-to-Shine technology and it's pretty amazing. It's also waterproof. 

The Visibility Test

I decided to enlist the help of the Hubbo and his camera for this test. I'm wearing my typical winter running outfit. Blue jacket, running tights, and shoes. All have a small amount of reflective accessories that came on them. Below I took two sets of pictures. Series 1 is with my normal outfit on and wearing all my Nite Ize accessories at different distances away from the camera. Series 2 is me just wearing my normal running outfit alone at different distances away from the camera. 

Which one looks less likely to get hit by a car?
Series 1
With Nite Ize on.
Series 2
With out Nite Ize on.

Questions! Do you wear all black when you run at night? What tips can you share to help runners stay safe at night?

Race Dummy for the Route 66 Marathon.
It's totally true. I am afraid of the dark. I'm pretty sure I slept with a nightlight until I was 25. In fact, when my husband is out of town, I literally sleep with every light on in the entire house! So much for saving on my electric bill! 

This blog post is inspired by a phone call I received from my dad yesterday. Just when I was getting back into my car from a run downtown after work my phone rang. It went something like this:

Ring, Ring, Ring (really buzz, buzz, buzz because I have my phone on vibrate).
Me: Hi Dad!
Dad: Well what are you doing now?
Me: I just got back in my car from running.
Dad: Really?
Me: Yeah
Dad: It's dark outside honey.
Me: I know. We run in a group. We run in the dark all the time.
Dad: Well ok....

I could tell he was a little concerned about me running after dark here in Tulsa. 
And then the conversation went on with the real point of the call, discussing Christmas presents.

The call inspired me to blog about running safety at night. As you know from my statement above, I'm afraid of the dark. 

Here are some of my tips for staying safe while running in the dark.
  • NEVER run alone in the dark. This is especially important for my fellow female runners. Groups are more fun anyways!
  • Be seen! Wear reflective items from head to toe and wear light colors. I wear a Sweaty Band to hold my hair back from my face that is also reflective. You can kind of see it in the picture above. 
  • Shine on! Running shoes will often have some reflective elements on them. Sometimes running tights or running shorts will have small reflective areas. 
  • Get out of the way. Do not assume that all cars will go around you. When I'm running in my neighborhood if I see a car coming, I'll hop onto the sidewalk and run until the road is clear again. 
  • Light It Up!  You can wear a blinky light but be sure it doesn't become hidden under your clothing. That doesn't help. Or you can wear a head lamp, similar to what you would use for cave exploring. 
  • Know where you are going. Plan ahead and map out a course or know the trail. No one likes to be lost in the dark.
  • Keep a cell phone with you. If you use a run tracking app like RunKeeper or MapMyRun the phone can double for a light if you wear it on your arm. You can also call someone if you get lost or use your GPS to help you get back on track. 
  • Have an alternate route. Sometimes you run up on people, places, or things that are less than safe. If you see something coming up, know an alternate way around the issue ahead. 
  • Arm yourself. If you just have to run alone take pepper spray with you. I hear that bear spray works great too and has a farther shooting range. 
  • Shout out! If you are running on a trail or path after dark be kind to your fellow runners. Be sure to call ahead as you come up on them so that you do not scare them. Call out something non-threatening like "On Your Left" or "Runners Back" This will let them know you are coming and help you avoid the mace. :)

So to all my running buddies out there training this winter in the darker months, Stay Safe, Stay Warm, and Happy Running!