outdoor running

Are you afraid of the dark? Tips for runner safety

Tips for runner safety before sunrise & beyond the sunset

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Running at sunrise or sunset can bring beautiful scenery and can be a great way to start or end your day.  With daylight savings, however, its dark EARLY.  Like way too early.  Look outside, it’s not even 5PM and the sky is already going black! The days of sunset runs at 8:30PM are long gone and many of us must get our runs done in the morning before the sun is up or in the evening after the sun has set.  Here are some quick tips our runners have discussed during these dark winter months.

1.Wear bright and/or reflective clothing and gear. Why not add a cute white puffer vest to your collection? If you don’t own white or bright outer layers or want to add advanced visibility, consider products like headlamps or lights & reflective apparel from noxgear.  Bonus, they are local, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio! If all else fails, use your trusty iPhone flashlight app.

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2. Stay on sidewalks as much as possible.  We admit, we prefer blacktop paths and will sometimes run in the road if the only other option is a hard, possibly uneven, sidewalk.  But when its dark, cars are less likely to see you (duh) so keep off the roads as best you can. Your knees can handle a few sidewalk runs, here and there. Even better, head to the track for some speed work – then you don’t have to worry about tripping over un-level concrete (believe us, we’ve had our fair share of slips & falls!)

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3. Run with a buddy… or maybe a group!  There is safety in numbers. Check out local running groups to find training partners that may be nearby and within your ideal pace. Columbus has many resources to connect you including MRTT Columbus and Columbus Running Co’s Facebook pages & groups.

4. Carry safety items with you including phone and perhaps even a whistle (we have one by GracedByGrit) or mace. Better safe than sorry.

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5. If you can’t manage to run outside – perhaps check out a new studio (maybe you’ll make a new friend or find a new ‘fitness’ home!) or hit up the dreadmill treadmill for a few months. Many local Cbus studios offer early AM classes, including OTF’s 5AMer.  We dare you to set your alarm for 4:30AM and check it out! 🙂

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Are YOU afraid of the dark? Send us your tips, favorite products & more! 

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Running in the cold [and dark!]

Happy Friday friends & fellow runners/yogis!  images

We Columbus-folk are sitting prettier than Cleveland right now… the radio said they got a FOOT of snow yesterday?  Christine & I hit up PAI yoga last night while Amanda and others were at Harbor yoga… hot yoga in the cold winter is the best!

And then, there’s Lan.  She texted me at 7AM to say “I ran this morning and survived! Brrrrrr, its cold though!” Which reminded me, I still hadn’t posted her most recent guest post about running in these temperatures…

So have a happy Friday and enjoy a little morning read with your coffee.   And don’t forget to bundle up!

Running in the cold (and dark) [by L Nguyen]

It is now officially that time of the year again when it gets dark early, on top of cold weather.  The first thing most people would prefer to do is get cozy on the couch, next to a fireplace, with a cup of hot cocoa (or whatever your choice beverage may be!).  Me, on the other hand, I have made a decision to train for another marathon.  Crazy?  Yes. I know. There is that thrill in running.  The excitement for new running shoes, discovery of a different running path, an updated music playlist.  It goes on and on. The one thing no one ever raved about, however, was running in the winter….in Ohio.

We are currently a few weeks out since The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon.  Several of us are getting back to the groove of running or taking a break to do other fit activities [Living Fit Columbus is now alternating Saturday runs with some HOT yoga!].  With the cold and snow around the corner, I have been working on finding a sweet spot in terms of layering, depending on the current outside temperatures.  Also important is mapping out running paths where there will be a coffee shop or something of that sort nearby for pit-stops from the wind, cold, etc.

One of our Living Fit running gurus, Deedra, has suggested layers and layers for top and bottom.  So here are some tips I’ve come up with based on recent experiences:

  • Running in the dark:  Assume cars cannot see you.  Safety first. Wear reflective gear.
  • Mid 50’s: Capris bottoms. Tank top. Very thin top. Normal running socks.
  • Mid 40’s: Full length running tights. Tank top. Very thin top. Light zip jacket (if you get cold easily). My Northface fleece is optional, it may get warm for this, but better to layer and take off! Smart wool socks. Headband or something to cover ears.
  • Mid 30’s: Same as mid-40’s but with a hooded sweatshirt in lieu of a light zip.  Double legging bottoms if your bum gets cold easily. Ear warmers/headband. Gloves/mittens.
  • Mid 20’s:  Double (maybe triple!) those bottoms or your bum will be COLD!  I do two pairs of running tights, shorts over tights, smart wool socks, sports bra, tank, thin top, thicker top, hoodie and of course an outer layer such as my Northface fleece.  Ear warmers/headband. Gloves/mittens.

The day of the marathon, I went out and purchased lululemon’s vinyasa scarf (I had been thinking about that one for weeks and it has been worth the investment!).  It comes in handy during the 20’s & 30’s temperature range.  I can pull it up and down as needed and the fabric breathes easily.

Some of my favorite cold weather pieces:

Maybe December will be mild for the sake of marathon training?  Maybe running in the cold will actually be enjoyable?  We shall definitely find out!

Let us know if you have any tips on staying warm when running in the winter!  We would love to hear what you think!