It seems that every sport has its own requisite list of essential gear items, and coming from the horse world -where not only is the gear usually expensive, but there is SO much of it!- running appears to require very little. The list of things you actually need is short- shoes and clothes to cover your body (which, as a functioning member of society, you likely own anyway). There are a handful of other items that can help make your runs more enjoyable and more successful, and, since I am all for success and enjoyment, I plan on utilizing them.
A couple of weeks ago, I gave you a virtual tour of my water bottle belt, and I hope you all went out and got one so that you can experience the joy of having a drink of water with you wherever and whenever you might need it. Hydration is my number one concern when running and my number two concern is not getting hit by a car. Wearing bright colors is a good first step, but when running at dawn or dusk we might need something more.
Since summer is, supposedly, over and the nights are darkening more quickly, visibility is becoming a concern on our evening weekday runs. Don and I have reflective belts that we can wear, but I find them a little distracting because they shift quite a bit when I move. A less-bulky option is a blinking light that can clip on to your shirt, hat, or shorts. I have this one from Nathan:
It is very lightweight and after I clip it onto the strap of my tank top, I forget it is even there. Don wears his clipped to the back of his waistband, and it is so bright that even though his shirt falls over it and obscures the light, you can still see it blinking from a long way off. Since rainstorms in Hawaii can sometimes arrive without warning, the fact that this little guy is water resistant is a bonus. It also comes in assorted colors if orange isn’t your style.
This is only one option for visibility; I’ve seen people in our group using the LightSpur or Knuckle Lights too. Anything that will allow you to be seen by cars and doesn’t distract you from running well will work, but it is important to be seen. As the days grow darker and our runs longer, I will probably invest in some other light sources. I like that the LightSpur allows cars to see you from behind, but worry that my feet are too close to the ground to catch the attention of every driver, and I like that the Knuckle Lights have the dual purpose of getting me noticed and also lighting my path, but worry that I will find them cumbersome to carry, but they might be less cumbersome than wearing a headlamp. I’ll have to experiment! Below is a short video exhibiting the intense brightness of the Strobe Light. Feel free to have a spontaneous dance party.