Along with cooler temps and pumpkin-flavored everything (Cheerios??) come shorter daylight hours and runs in the dark. In today’s age of distracted and aggressive driving, runners and walkers (you too dog walkers!) need to be extra vigilant. Here are 5 of my favorite safe running tips:
1. Run Against Traffic
Running against traffic (i.e. the left side of the road) is the best way for you to see cars and for cars to see you. In heavy traffic areas, move to the sidewalk – but stay alert for bumps by carrying a light.
2. Lights, Lights, Lights!
Think human Christmas tree! Active light sources aid your vision and increase a driver’s ability to see you by six-fold. Wear a headlamp or use a hand-held flashlight to illuminate your path so you don’t trip and can alert on-coming traffic to your presence.
You also want to attach a “blinkie” light or two to your backside, arm and/or shoes as the blinking action of the light makes you more noticeable as a moving pedestrian.
3. Wear Reflective Gear.
Reflective clothing and gear are passive light sources that enable others to see you up to several hundred feet in the distance, giving drivers valuable time to react. The best options provide 360 degrees of reflectivity so that you can be seen from all directions.
Jackets and shorts/tights with reflective prints are the gold standard. You need not dress like a highlighter since new “stealth” reflective technology looks “normal” until a light source strikes it. This technology is available in jackets, tees, tights, compression socks and select shoes.
Another great option when it’s warmer outside is Safety Skin – a special reflective “skin spread” that you can put on your legs and arms. Made with natural ingredients, it washes off with soap and water. It’s the coolest stuff!
4. Tell a Friend (better yet, run with a friend!)
We always suggest running with a friend or group if possible—safety in numbers! However, it’s unlikely you will be able to pair up for every run. Get into the habit of letting your partner, a friend, or a family member know when and where you are going running and when you expect to return. Make sure to tell them when you get home, too!
5. Stay Alert.
It’s up to you to pay attention. Be as defensive as possible. Drivers are often so distracted by their phones, and when you add darkness into the mix, running on the road becomes especially dangerous; Drivers aren’t expecting to have to share their space.
Be extra careful at street crossings since drivers often make right turns without looking for runners. If necessary, be prepared to dive into the bushes – a few scratches sure beats a trip to the ER.
On the flip side, when you are driving be alert especially during the night and low light conditions. Obey the speed limit and look both ways - twice - before turning especially in neighborhoods where sidewalks and their occupants can be obscured by bushes and trees. If you must use your cell phone, use a hands-free device and NEVER text and drive.
ALL-NEW! BROOKS LEVITATE
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Fall days get surprisingly dark surprisingly fast. When we're up for a run but the sun isn't, we want to be seen without feeling like a traffic cone. Bright colors and reflective details put safety first without looking like it.
Check out the exclusive High Visibility Collection from Brooks that is only available at Fleet Feet Sports! Jackets, shirts and hats that are stylish by day and lit by night!
While it's not a high-viz product, it still is super cool...and now in stock at the store! Featuring 15 preloaded GPS and sport apps (like running, swimming, yoga), GarminPay, Smart Notifications, Live Track, customizable screens & 13 hours of GPS battery life. Love the sharp styling too!
WEDNESDAY FUN RUNS
Join Coach Jeremy and a great group of FF Peeps at 6:30pm every Wednesday for a 3-5 mile jaunt through the neighborhoods of West Hartford. All abilities - are welcome (children must run with a parent). Please wear a reflective vest and bring a light so you can see and be seen. FREE!
TRACK WORKOUTS - Thursday's at 6:30pm Join Coach Amanda at the Hall High School track for a great workout focusing on improving your speed and form. All ages and abilities welcome - workouts are scaled so everyone can do them. FREE!
(Last workout of season is Oct 21)
THE STORM & THE FURY
Saturday, Oct 21 @ 10am:
CrossFitters & runners unite to raise money for families in Puerto Rico. Choose from two WOD's (including a runner-friendly workout), a kids-only mini-WOD and an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast (with Thomas Hooker's tastiet beer) to wash it all down all for a $25 donation. Click here to RSVP.
RUN YOUR WORLD TOUR
Thursday, Oct 26 @ 6:00pm:
We're partnering with Saucony to deliver a metaphorical marathon of sweat-infused fun featuring a run-workout and a no-shower happy hour with a paintbar, refreshments & giveaways. Just $10 - with all proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross in support of hurricane relief. Register here.
KARI TRAA LADIES LOPE
Saturday, Oct 28 @ 9:00am:
Kari Traa, one of the hottest brands in Europe will soon be at Fleet Feet! To celebrate, we're hosting a Norwegian fun run ("lope") for ladies. The first 50 ladies to RSVP for this FREE event get a gift from KT (hurry, only 6 spots left!). RSVP here.
MORE GOOD READS:
QUICK EASY FISH STEW The experts say that we should eat fish twice a week because Omega 3’s are important for heart-health. If the thought of fish for dinner isn’t always appealing, you might love this recipe – quick, easy and super tasty!
APRIL ROSS FOR #ProjectZero 2-time Olympic volleyball medalist April Ross shares the story of losing her mother to breast cancer, and the support and encouragement that has carried her through. Watch the Video.
A PRE-RUN SNACK THAT BRINGS OUT THE KID IN US Without a mid-afternoon snack, you could be running on empty. Get these fueling tips for a better workout and faster recovery, plus our current favorite (and easy!) recipe for Performance Rice Crispy Treats. Get the Recipe