Trip the Light Fantastic? Early Morning Running

I mainly run pre-dawn on roads so I need to make sure that I can be seen easily by drivers and ensure I don’t trip over deer/sticks, etc.

As I didn’t run today I thought I’d jot down the things I use daily to help me stay safe on my runs.

First item: lurid t-shirt with reflective strips when possible. Normally bright orange, green or yellow. No cool black shirts at this time of day.

Second item: small white LED light. The one I have isn’t very powerful but it is good enough at that time of day to be able to see a few steps ahead. The one I have was a basic bike light so it has a handy Velcro strap that I use to attach it to my hand or to my waist belt. Once it is bright enough to see without the light, then I switch it to flashing mode so that it catches drivers eyes.

Third item: small red LED light. This is an old bike light that has a clip on it. I put it into flash mode and put it on the back of my shorts or my waist belt.

Fourth item: waist/water belt. I’ve run with a water belt for years now. At the moment I don’t tend to carry water as I’m running shorter distances and it isn’t very hot at 5:15 in the morning. When I run > 5 miles or if it is hot then I’ll put a water bottle in the belt. Also, some Clif Shot Blocks if > 8 miles. The belt is a convenient place to attach those lights. I put the light on my right-hand side so that it is shining forward down the road and marks the outside of my personal space; drivers can then get a feel for how wide I am.

Fifth item: Halo headband. Very 80s but I like the plastic sweat gutter they have as it stops my burning acidic sweat from melting my eyes as I run. If you don’t like that look, they do have hats with this tech in them that also work well.

For your general gear (shirts, shoes, etc) make sure they have reflective strips and that they are clean. They won’t reflect if they are covered in dirt.

Updated: the one thing I never leave the house without, whether cycling or running, is my Road ID. It is such a habit that I forgot to mention it initially. Silly me. Fixed now.

I know I look like a mobile 80s disco as I float down the roads around my neighbourhood but at least I reduce my risk of tripping over the uneven pavement and increase the chance that drivers will see me before I bounce over the front of their car.

Stay safe my shiny friends.


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