Monday, March 11, 2013

SPRING FORWARD...SAFELY

For many of us, Sunday's switch to Daylight Savings Time served as an early harbinger of spring, as we enjoyed the extra hour of daylight at the end of the day. Now, training runs, no matter what the distance, are possible, as we continue to gain minutes all the way up to the Summer Solstice in June.

For now, however, there is a minor problem at the onset of Daylight Saving time: we have lost an hour in the morning. Sunrise arrives at approximately 7:30 a.m. For many morning runners, it means that much of their run will be conducted in darkness. As each day goes by, and the earth revolves closer to the sun, minutes will be added to the early morning light, but not yet.

There is never a good time to run in the darkness, but early morning may be the most dangerous. Drivers are tired, and, often impatient, as they rush to get to work on time. Coffee is in hand, they are fumbling with their CDs, and often spend time on the phone.

As a runner, if you're not bright, you're not too bright!

If you must run in the darkness, especially if you frequently run in the darkness, wear as much bright, reflective gear as possible.

My run-in-the-dark gear includes a reflective vest, reflective strips on my shoes, tights, and shorts, as well as on many of my gloves.

A couple of weeks ago, however, I went for a night run, and I just felt I need more visibility. I discovered LED armbands that I really liked. They are lightweight, fashionable, and not dorky.

In my book, "Running Shorts," I attempt to explain why motorists hate us so much in the chapter entitled, 'Why Do They Hate Us So Much?'

So, that being established, I thought I'd take a proactive approach. I bought a few LED armbands, and I'm selling them on my site: www.runningshortsbook.com. Check them out. Try them if you must run in the dark. Last week, a customer even bought one for his dog. We need to keep our pets safe as well.

Enjoy the coming spring weather, and enjoy Daylight Saving Time. Run fast and run safe!