Those Extras that Could Make a Difference
Runners might enjoy the run, but sometimes they need a few things to make their runs more enjoyable. The more enjoyable a task is, the more likely you are going to return to doing it again. Safety should always be a factor when you are performing any type of exercise, especially running. Night runs are the most dangerous for many different reasons, but they might be the only option you have to escape the heat during the summer months. It could be a time issue with a job, or any other reason to run at night. Since night runs are the option for you however, you might need something to make your run not only safer, but more enjoyable.
An armband serves multiple purposes for people and there are different types. Essentially it is an extra pocket that you wear on your arm and keep out of the way of your movements, so that you are not hindered during your run. There are usually two types and the most common is the one that holds a cell phone. It keeps your phone on you, but out of the way, and it makes it easier to connect your earphones so you have less wires hanging around.
The other type of armband is for a water bottle, and not as common as they once were. The weight of the water bottle would offset the movement a little, although they are still out there. Both armbands are held by an adjustable Velcro strap or an elastic band. Usually worn on the upper arm so they are in the area with the least amount of movement.
(I’ve seen people use two of the water bottle types around their ankles and the water bottles act as ankle weights for the first part of their journey.)
For those runners that like to do night runs, lights are a great idea to keep you safe. While trying to hold a flashlight and enjoy your run at the same time doesn’t work, there are lights that will attach to your clothing, shoes and hands that can let people know you are there, and still light up your path. Shoes lights are some of the common ones and while there are shoes that light up (generally kid’s shoes), for adults these are extra parts that can attach to the front and back of your shoes. A body light can go on like a vest and provide you with front and back lights so that others can see you in the dark.
While it might feel silly to wear these, feeling silly is better than feeling pain if a car were to hit you and put you in the hospital. And while they are not always stylish, there are lights you can just attach to the clothes you are wearing, and simply remove when your run is complete.
While clothing that you wear when you are running should be lose enough to not hinder your run, or tight enough to not hinder your run, reflective clothing is different. This could be a vest, patches, a shirt or socks that have a reflective quality to them. Typically running at night poses the dangers of people not being able to see you, cars really are the main problem. When a car is moving at high speeds, and at night it is harder for them to see objects until they happen to be right on top of them. Reflective clothing gives those drivers a little heads up that there is something up there and they need to slow down before they hit it. That something is you, if you are wearing the reflective clothing.
Sporting goods stores will carry small versions of these things in the stores, but you might have to find more options online. The easiest to apply are decals or stickers that peel off, and can be discarded, however this could be costly if you do a lot of your running at night. If you apply them to your running shoes only, or if you wear a hat and apply them to that you can save money as they won’t have to be removed as often. A necklace or sash is the best option, as it is not costly, easy to wear, and won’t hinder your run. (Shown is a firemen’s outfit which shows the yellow reflective portion of their clothes.)
Since it can be a little dull and unmotivating to run without anything to keep your mind occupied, most people wear headphones when they are running. The wireless options that work with your phone via blue tooth are the best option. Used with an armband though you can keep the cords short so nothing is dangling in your way. Listening to music is a great way to motivate and keep you motivated on your run.
Use the earbuds rather than full ear phones though as safety will be an issue. Earbuds won’t completely block out the sounds around you, unless your music is too loud. You actually should be able to hear some of the sounds around you in order to be aware of anything that could be dangerous.