Hey, you, runners! You are great, you are powerful, you are better than you were yesterday. You are, however, NOT INVINCIBLE. This winter, I have been seeing a lot of runners out in head-to-toe black, no reflectors, headphones in and it gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies.
We need to have a talk about reflective gear. Lights, outfits, shiny jewellery that will make you be seen and stop traffic in its tracks. If you drive, you’ll know how fogged up car windows get at this time of year. Add this on top of the 18 hour darkness, and misty mornings and you need to light yourself up like a christmas tree to stand a chance of being seen. It’s not only cars you need to be seen by – out with my lovely lovely run group last week, we very nearly all crashed domino-like into a runner dressed, for all intents and purposes, as a ninja. Good one, mate.
Gone are the days when you had to nick a hi-vis vest from work to be seen on a run or your bike. It’s not too hard to be seen and be reasonably chic at the same time. Please, please, please implement one or all of these ‘Be safe, be seen’ measures to keep yourself safe when you’re out running – here are my picks. Please share yours in the comments below – we love new gear.
Light-Up Dog Collars
No, not for YOU. For your dog. Your pal is pretty invisible at night, tends to dart, and is more valuable than anything. Keep him in sight and safe with a light up dog collar, which will have the added benefit of making you feel like you’re at a puppy rave. I don’t think those exist but I think they would be brilliant. Puppy rave > Cat Cafes.
GOD look at how cute he is! His collar was from the market, but you can get them here at Amazon, too. If you have a dog, you gotta get one of these.
A little flash of reflective tape on your zipper or seam isn’t going to cut it. When it comes to shine, as every showgirl knows, more is more. Technology has come along strides in the past two or so years – the fabric isn’t stiff, and washes much better than reflective bits used to. I love that everyone is incorporating reflective gear into the actual design of gear, rather than as an afterthought. How cool are these Nike leggings?
Sweaty Betty’s upcoming SS15 collection has totally flashy running gear, which you can have a sneakypeek at on our friend Sophie’s blog, BePrettyFit
No, no, not your Dad’s hi-vis vests. Proper, well-designed runner’s ones. I love me a vest – they’re relatively cheap, and can be layered on your normal running gear without getting too warm. As someone who overheats terribly when running, it’s good not to put all of my eggs in one basket with a really shiny jacket, only to be invisible again when I’ve wrapped it round my waist, sweltering despite the weather.
What’s better than reflecting other people’s light? Creating your own. (I think there is an inspirational Instagram photo caption in there somewhere)
I got a Nathan running light in my christmas stocking last year, and they’re clearly designed by runners. They stay put, and really make you visible, particularly on the flashing setting. Everyone at running club asks where you got it from, and even bystanders want to know more about it. Maybe a bit too much sometimes – “Do you beep with that reversing light too, love?” At least he could see me dashing away from him.
(Sidenote: Nathan seem to totally have your back when it comes to winter running. I asked Jen from Jen Chooses Joy where she got a particularly awesome pair of reflective gloves, and of course the answer was… )
My favourite: Slap Bracelets!
Yes, they make you feel about 8 again. Cheap as chips, I use these in conjunction with my hi-vis and my ‘reversing light’ for maximum visibility. I wear one around each ankle, as I get in a tangle when I take my jacket off if I wear them on my arms. In my mind my flashy legs make me look really fast and cool when I’m striding, like something out of Tron… (No?)
Every good running shop should have some, as should most Pound/Dollar Stores. We often try to get these for the goody bags to give you guys on our Art Runs, if running with us and listening to our hilarious stories (ahem) wasn’t incentive enough.
How do you make sure you’re seen when you’re out on dark nights? What are your tried and trusted bit of kit, and what’s going on Santa’s list?