It’s winter. Technically it’s not, but let’s be real here: I don’t see daylight during the week, my ice scraper is already riding shotgun til spring, and it’s snowed twice (if you count today). It’s winter.
I could complain about the next four months forever, but running through them is a necessary evil. Sure, you can do some treadmill running, but running solely on the deadmill will leave your lungs burning and your ankles sore after an outdoor race. And I’m not even going to talk about that recycled stank-air you take in at the gym. ((shudder)) I know New Jersey’s air quality isn’t exactly stellar, but ew.
Anyway, running outdoors in the icy cold and darkness is tough, so make it easier on yourself (and the drivers & bikers with whom you share the road) and run safely. The trick is to see and be seen.
- Run against traffic: This is a rule that applies to runners all year long, but it’s especially important when rush hours are pitch black. How many times have you seen some
dumbassirresponsible commuter driving around without their headlights at dusk? Know what’s heading your way well before a driver knows what’s heading theirs.
- Don’t wear an iPod: Like running against traffic, iPod-less running is smart year-round for safety (and Zen-ness). Leave the iPod at home to be fully aware of everything around you, especially in the winter months when you may have a hat or headband already covering your ears. Plus, in the event of snow, who doesn’t like the sound of their shoes crunching?
- Throw on a cap: It might seem counter-intuitive to wear a hat with a brim in the dark, but it saves your night vision when lights from an oncoming car would normally blind you. Tilt your head down slightly, and run on!
To be seen:
- Clip on a blinking light: This simple, weightless addition will catch a driver’s eye well before they even come within a block of you. Not to mention, if you run with others wearing blinking lights, you can have a mini-rave… safely on the sidewalk, of course.
- Wear a reflective vest: A reflective vest is the most obvious and commonly-worn night running gear. It rests on top of your winter layers and you appear almost radioactively-bright to cars coming in both directions. Who wouldn’t steer away from that?!
Now I’m all down about winter.
Quick!! Think of good things about the gloomiest, frostiest months of the year!
- Winter warmers
- Sleeping comfortably under 17 tons of blankets
- Being able to yell, “I CAN’T PUT MY ARMS DOWN,” because it’s true.
Ok, that’s all I’ve got. You?