Today kicks off a week of personal posts! Some may be more personal than others, but last night when I was doing blog prep I noticed a trend in a few of the blogs I wanted to do this week and decided, meh, what the heck! Let’s just theme this week personal! Today’s post was inspired by a PAIN-FREE run I had last night where I also saw other runners running at night in dark clothes with no reflective gear….
Running at Night
- My friend Matt told me about this little trick-wear a baseball cap at night and when oncoming traffic is driving by you, just dip your head so the bill of your hat blocks the headlights. Sure it messes with your running form a bit, but it protects your eyes so you don’t have those few moments of blindness after the cars pass.
- “Invest” in something reflective that you wear every time you are out running at night. I bought some slap bracelets for like $5 off of Amazon a few years ago after I got hit by a car running at night. You can wear the slap bracelets on your wrists or you can slap them around your calves/ankles. I highly recommend these especially if your wardrobe is anything like mine and the majority of your workout bottoms are black.
- Wear bright obnoxious colors. I have a few “highlighter” yellow tshirts that I will wear when I’m running at night.
- Be extra cautious and never assume anyone sees you. I also will always run behind a vehicle at an intersection as opposed to running in front of it. When I got hit by a car, it was because well she wasn’t paying any attention but also because I ran in front of the car. The girl driving was just rolling through the stop sign and didn’t see me.
- Also with being cautious, don’t run with music so you can hear if anyone is following you but you will also be able to hear traffic coming and whatnot. I also recommend either running with your keys laced through your fingers or running with one of those cat key chains that you put your fingers through the “eyes” and you can use the ears as a weapon.
- Let someone know where and when you will be running and then let them know when you are back. Also let them know what you are wearing so if worst scenario happens, they are able to provide police with the most accurate description.
- Run in a neighborhood or an area that you know. This is mostly for terrain issues but can also be folded into safety issues too.
I could do the same old same old running guide here. But that has been written about a million times. And the theme for this week is personal. So these are my personal tips for running.
- My number one tip for running has nothing to do with form or breathing or shoes, it’s this: Forget what anyone thinks. When I first started running, especially outside, I was so worried about what someone driving by was thinking about my running. Was I running wrong or too slow or did I look awkward? What about if I needed to stop to give myself a break? What then? Well you know what, nothing. You are out there running. No one gets to judge you or say anything more to you than good job. And when you stop your mind from obsessing about what other people are thinking about, it frees up space to think about your running and concentrate on it.
- Music. I have always run with music up until about 6-8 weeks ago when my fancy smart phone died and I had to go back to my crackberry. Instead of downloading the Pandora app on there and dealing with all of that, I just decided to start operating on no music when I’m working out. (I have a zune but I have had it for awhile and so it dies pretty fast plus I cancelled my zune pass so I lost like all my music.) And I may be a convert here. I used to hate running without music because I had to listen to myself…but now that is why I love it. My run last night was sans tunage and I was able to be more aware of my surroundings and also more aware of my running and my form. I only did like 2 1/2 miles ish but it was a definite win for me. Try running for awhile sans music and see if you can get into it. At the very least, running outside at night sans music.
- Run for you. When I run for competition or for some other reason, it’s never as good of a run as it is when I just run for me and for the love of running.
- Be prepared to invest in some gear. Shoes. A Garmin (life is so much easier running with a Garmin vs. not running. If you are serious about running, look at getting a Garmin. But also remember to have some runs sans Garmin. Not every run needs to be tracked. But it is SO helpful to track your running and mileage and pace.) For the ladies, a good sports bra. But also know when you can save on gear. I don’t think I have bought a single pair of running bottoms that weren’t on sale/clearanced/at TJMaxx/outlet mall. I generally will just wear tshirts and I don’t fuss with having fancy tops. Although if I do find some on clearance, I will get them.
- Dress in layers. It just makes life easier, especially when you are running in transitional weather (spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter…you get it).
- When in doubt, car trumps person. I always let cars go first or will run behind the car or just in general assume that the car doesn’t see me and a car is a little bit bigger than me. So car trumps.
I started really running my senior year of undergrad for all the wrong reasons. When I started learning how to run for me and stopped caring if a car saw me stop to walk a little bit and then start running or what people thought of what I looked like running, it improved my running. I still am competitive with my running, I probably always will be but I try to remember that I am running for me and not for some random person that just drove by me. They don’t know me, they don’t know my training plan, and they sure as hell don’t know my injuries.
What is some of the best advice you have ever received about running?