Being Seen in the Dark

I want to tell you a story. I went for a run early morning. It was pouring rain and it was still pitch black out. I started my run around 5:16am in downtown Minneapolis. I ran through the streets and then around Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. During my run, I saw three other runners, handful of pedestrians, and four cyclists. Out of all the people that I saw on my 4-mile run, two cyclists had lights, no one else had any lights or reflective.

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To me, that is complete stupidity. If you do not have reflective or lights, you are 100% not seen. Bright and colorful clothing does not help when it is dark out. Ultimately, you are out on a run or cycling because you want to take care of yourself. So why are you not protecting yourself while out on that run or bike ride? Here is what I do when I am out on a run in the dark. Here is my list of must haves:

  1. Headlamp: I use the Black Diamond Ion It is cheap and it does the job. Nothing too fancy.
  2. Tail Lights/Shoe Lights: I love these things. The Nathan Sports LightSpur LED Foot Light is awesome because you attach it to your shoe and you are good to go.
  3. Reflective Hat/Headband: I am a big fanboy of Buff® USA products so I have a couple of their reflective hats and headbands.
  4. Reflective Strips: I put these things on everything. I work for Brilliant Reflective so obviously I like the product but I wish I knew about them earlier. All you do is put the strips on your clothing and you are good to go.

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Whether you are training for something or you are just a daily runner, consider this: if you get hit by a car, a bike, or step off the curb wrong because you couldn’t see it, you will not be able to run. Take care of visibility and safety like you take care of your training and physical fitness.

#KeepTheRunOn!

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Five Tips to Winter Training

Being from the frozen tundra of the upper Midwest, a large chunk of my training is in cold conditions. I have gained some experience training in the cold and have some tips for a successful winter training season. To be exact I have five tips for a successful winter training season.

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If you live in a warm climate, I am jealous and there are only two tips for you: stay there and go run.

Don’t Fall Into The Holiday Trap: with Thanksgiving over, and the countdown to December holidays in full swing, people use this time of year as an excuse for omitting their training until after January 1st. Don’t do that. By starting your training early and powering through the holiday season, you will be able to build up some power and stamina.

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Equip Yourself to Avoid Laziness: if you are training in a cold climate you have to be sure that you have all the needed clothing and equipment to be able to go out on your runs at any temperature. By having things like running jackets and warm pants, Buff hats, mittens and wool socks you will be able to whether any weather and avoid making the “It’s too cold” excuses.

Have A Back-up Plan: sometimes there are situations that are out of your hands and an outdoor workout is not an option. Always have a backup workout that can be done indoors. Whether its inclined intervals on the treadmill or cross-training with weights, you should be able to always have a good workout.

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Be Seen at Night: this kind of goes hand-in-hand with equipping yourself for the weather but this is for the dark. During this time of year, you must be seen since it is dark at 5pm. I suggest getting the following to make sure you are visible: Headlamp, Reflective Buff, and Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips. The headlamp will help with seeing where you are running. The Buff will keep you warm. The Brilliant Reflective safety strips can be placed on all your running clothing and gear and you will be seen as a human rather than a cone.

Check Your Self: it is easy to fall into bad habits during this time of year. Anything from drinking too much hot apple cider (with a little extra somethin somethin) to eating too many holiday cookies will slow down your training. Make sure to find balance between the things you eat and drink.

So, there you go. It is as simple as waking up with a hangover January first. To find success this winter season, start training now, get the needed equipment (holiday gift list?), and have a workout and nutrition plan.

Let me know if you have your own tricks when it comes to winter training.

Keep the run on!

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