Winter is approaching and the shortened days are cutting into the amount of sunlight we have to train outdoors! Running and riding in the dark or in the cold can be dangerous, especially if you don’t take the necessary precautions before you walk out the door and when you’re on the road. Here are a few tips to keep you safe while training outside in the winter!
Dress appropriately. If its going to be cold, wear enough clothing to keep you warm, but not too much to the point where you sweat too much and then get cold anyways. If its dark, wear something reflective so cars can see you!
Watch out for ice (when appropriate). While Texas doesn’t really get ice or snow, on those wet days, bridges always have the chance of icing over a bit. So always be aware of what you’re about to step on. No one like falling in public…
Put lights on your bike. In addition to wearing visible clothing, if you must ride in the dark (for perhaps commuting to work), make sure your bike is well lit so that other vehicles on the road can see you. Not to mention it is technically illegal to ride in the dark with no lights in many cities.
Always know where traffic is. Its more likely that you can see traffic than traffic seeing you. So if you see a car coming, just assume the worst and get out of the way. Better safe than dead.
Run in well lit areas. Its easier for you to see and to be seen. If you do something like trail running in the dark, make sure to bring a flashlight or head lamp so you can see what obstacles lie ahead.
If all else fails, you can always train inside on the trainer or treadmill, but no one really likes that!