Thursday, September 19, 2013

Running in the Moonlight-Importance of Reflective Running Gear

With the days getting shorter, and our lives getting busier, most of us will have to run in the dark. Whether it's early in the morning or after sunset, safety should be on all of our minds. 

Did you know it takes a car that is traveling 60 mph at least 200 feet to stop? Cut that in half (which would be more realistic) and it would still take about 100 feet for a car to stop and avoid hitting you. Think about it, a driver must be able to see you at least 200 feet away, and that’s not going to happen wearing ordinary running clothes.

For example, this morning I was driving while it was still dark out and I saw a man running with a reflective vest on. I instantly slowed down and went around him. Like most drivers, I wasn't on the lookout for him; I was worrying about other cars, not runners and cyclists. As a runner myself, I know that’s probably a sin and I should be more aware, however, it just emphasizes how important it is to take precautions and put on reflective gear before going running in the dark.

According to Brooks, there are three common phases of lighting: Daylight, Dusk, and Darkness. Every year they have a NightLife clothing line. Each of the different features of their clothes is good for the different phases of light.

For instance, fluorescent colors of the clothes absorb energy and re-emit it as visible light, contrasting it to the natural environment. This contrast helps show body movement which increases visibility. The fluorescent colors are good to wear while running during the daylight or at dusk.

Another feature of their NightLife line is retro-reflective details that reflect light back to the source with minimal scattering for hits of brightness. The retro-reflective details are important while running at dusk and darkness.

Lastly, active lighting is also important. For example, blinking LED lights help you be seen in complete darkness.

Brooks isn't the only brand who make night running products. Reflective gear comes in all different shapes and sizes. There are wrist/armbands, flashing shoelaces, dog leashes, LED clip on lights, reflective compression socks, jackets, gloves, hats, etc.

There are a lot of options to choose from, so find out what works best for you and be seen!

Happy (Safe) Running!

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