Remember a few months ago when you headed out for a run, you simply stripped down to almost nothing, threw on your shoes and MP3 player, and off you went? Yup, there’s no doubt about it: running in the winter takes more thought and preparation than those carefree days of summer. But whether winter affords you the luxury of running in the scarce daylight hours, or the only time you have is during the dark early morning or evening hours, there are several important challenges you must overcome to run safely in the wintertime.
Running During the Day
If you can, running in daylight is always safer, but if you live in the land of ice and snow, the sun’s glare can make your run uncomfortable and potentially unsafe. When the sun’s blinding reflection makes it difficult for you to see potential hazards in your path, you need a lightweight pair of sunglasses that won’t slip down your nose when you perspire. In this case, nothing beats Oakley’s Half Jacket Sunglasses. PLUTONITE® lenses filter out 100% of all UV light and adapt to any light condition. Additionally, the Half Jacket’s open-edge design allows excellent peripheral vision, while XYX OPTICS provide unmatched clarity. With a light index of 3 for extremely bright sunlight, Oakley‘s Iridium coating provides maximum glare reduction and true-color perception. With Oakley Half Jacket, you’ll be ready for safe running in any light.
Good traction is another issue runners face in snowy climates. When fears of slips and falls threaten to destroy good form, Yaktrax are the newest and most user-friendly ice traction devices for your running shoes. They’re lightweight, compact, and fit nearly all brands. The coil design gives you 360 degrees of traction with hundreds of biting edges, allowing you to run with a more natural gait over packed snow and ice.
Still feeling the bite of frozen fingertips even when your core is dripping sweat? Youngstown Glove Company’s Safety Orange Waterproof Winter Gloves won’t let your fingers get nippy. Through extensive testing, proven patterns, innovative materials, and meticulous quality control, Youngstown’s gloves are # 1 in durability. These gloves are not only waterproof, but windproof, and highly visible. Featuring triple layer waterproof technology, an insulating micro-fleece liner, a breathable membrane, and 3M Scotchlite™ reflective tape on the knuckles and wrist, they’re ideal for running in cold, wet conditions. And best of all, their terry cloth thumb virtually screams, “Go ahead. Wipe your nose on me.”
Running in the Dark
Running in the evening or early morning darkness makes visibility your most important safety concern. Once daylight savings time ends, the sun sets before most of us even get out of work, and that’s when several important pieces of safety gear become critical before heading out for a run. The following guidelines will help you achieve the safest workout after sundown:
- Wear reflective clothing to be as visible as possible. Radians Reflective Safety Vests will get you noticed and visible even in the most miserable and poorly lit winter conditions. They’re available in several configurations and feature exceptional durability, so you’ll get years of use.
- Choose well-lit running routes. Regardless of whether they’re your favorite, routes with the most streetlights, businesses or residential lights are your safest choices. Oncoming cars will have a better chance of seeing you, and you’ll be able to avoid potential hazards, such as potholes, icy patches, road debris, etc.
- Run against traffic. It’s easier to avoid cars if you can see them coming. Try running along less-busy roads with shoulders, bike paths, or sidewalks.
- Vary your routes and times. Potential attackers can study a runner’s routines and wait in dark recesses. Don’t make yourself an easy target.
- Run with a partner. There’s safety in numbers, so if possible, never run alone. But if you must, let someone know the route you’re running and approximately when you should be back.
- Carry a cell phone. You’ll be able to call police immediately if something goes wrong, or if you notice anything suspicious.
- Always wear identification. Zip your driver’s license in your pocket or wear an ID tag on your shoe or wrist.
With these few special pieces winter gear, runners can enjoy their sport year-round, confident that their health and safety are protected while doing their bodies good.