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    Runbell — running gear

    8 Top Tips for Running Safety

    Running can be a joy, with the breeze in your hair, and trees and lampposts whizzing past in a blur of speed. It keeps you fit, and keeps you healthy. But if you are not careful, running can also be perilous. When you are out for a jog, make sure to follow these eight simple tips to keep yourself safe and make your excursion as enjoyable as possible.

    1.    Carry a Cell Phone

    Always carry a cell phone with you on your runs. If you end up lost, injured, or disabled, a cell phone enables you to call for help. Make sure the battery is charged, and don’t count on having access to a public telephone. Phone booths are becoming rarer and rarer as cell phones become more common. Even if you can find a pay telephone, chances are it may not be operational.

    2.    Carry a Whistle

    Carry a whistle or other noisemaker with you. It lets you signal for help if you find yourself in trouble. Should someone approach you in a threatening manner, you can create a loud, high-pitched noise that draws attention. With luck, the noise may even persuade an attacker to leave you alone.

    3.    Do Not Wear Headphones

    Many runners enjoy listening to music as they jog. Yes, it is invigorating, and it helps to pass the time. However, headphones also impede your ability to hear what’s happening around you. Your eyes can only see what’s in front of you, while your ears receive signals from all directions. If you wear headphones, you might not hear the truck that turns the corner just as you step into its path.

    4.    Wear Reflective Gear

    Always wear reflective gear, especially if you run at night, at dusk, or during the early morning. Dim light situations make you less visible than you think you are, and drivers may not see you amid all the bright streetlights and headlights on the road. Misty, foggy, or rainy conditions also make you hard to see, and shoe reflectors might be mistaken for light reflecting off puddles on the sidewalk. Therefore, be sure to wear reflective striping on your upper body and legs.

    5.    Carry Identification

    Always carry identification with you in case an injury or sudden illness leaves you unconscious or unable to communicate. That way, police or medical professionals know who you are and can contact your family or friends. If you prefer not to carry a wallet, at least take a Sharpie and write your name, your contact information, your blood type, and any health issues on the inside sole of your athletic shoe. Road ID is also a good idea. 

    6.    Tell Others Your Intended Route

    Be sure to let others know which route you intend to take, so they know where to start looking if you do not return home as expected. If no one is home, leave a note or a voicemail.

    7.    Obey Traffic Signals

    When running, always obey traffic signals. Never cross against a light when traffic has the right of way. Runners are smaller and harder to see than are cars, trucks, and SUVs. Moreover, many motorists are so busy concentrating on other vehicles they are not prepared for fast-moving pedestrians.

    8.    Use Runbell

    Runbell is a sturdy, brass bell made especially for runners. With a flick of your thumb, Runbell lets you warn others of your presence with a bright, clear, ding! Whether you run on city streets or hiking trails, you are likely at some point to encounter other people, and such meetings sometimes end in collisions. With Runbell, you can politely signal your approach and give pedestrians time to move out of your way. When you ring the bell, dog walkers have time to control their dog, and dawdling bicyclists can speed up and leave you behind.

    Runbell fits over two fingers and rests on the back of your hand, so it leaves your hands free for other uses. It comes in men’s and women’s sizes, and each comes with a couple of soft silicone inserts to adjust the sizing to fit anybody’s hand.

    When you leave the house for a run, you never know what kind of hazards you might encounter. Play it safe. Make sure you keep all your senses engaged. Carry a cell phone, ID, and a whistle. Tell someone your intended route, or leave a note. Wear reflective gear to improve your visibility, obey all traffic signals, and carry Runbell with you to alert others to your presence and avoid painful collisions.

    5 Essential Accessories for Runners

    When you lose yourself in an invigorating run, you feel like there is nothing but you and the terrain. Whether your chosen course is the buzzing hive of city streets or the lonesome silence of wooden nature trails, you push yourself to your limits, build stamina, hone muscles, and burn away troubling thoughts.

    It is a solitary endeavor, but you need not do it alone. You can—and should—bring some useful gear with you to improve your experience and keep you safe. The sections below discuss each item in detail.

    1. Calf Support Tights

    Calf support tights are a compression garment that helps prevent uncomfortable chafing and rashes that form due to friction. The gentle “squeeze” they provide helps runners avoid post-run muscle soreness and stiffness. They also minimize recovery time. Moreover, they keep runners warmer during cold-weather runs. Many brands also feature reflective materials to improve runner visibility during low-light situations.

    If you are not wearing calf support tights when you run, you are missing out on all of these benefits, as well as increased flexion and muscle extension, which reduces hamstring strain and other tendon damage.

    2. GPS Wristband

    A GPS wristband is especially useful when you run in unfamiliar neighborhoods or twisty trails that fork and branch. It keeps you from getting lost, and lets you think about your training instead of your location. Moreover, many GPS bands made especially for runners have other useful features. Some can measure your heart rate and track your fitness level. A few can make predictions about the time it will take you to complete certain common race distances, while others make suggestions as to how long you should wait during recovery before you resume exercise.

    Many brands let you upload your data to an online fitness log to track your progress and share your stats with an online community.

    3. Waist Pack

    A waist pack is a convenient carryall for your stuff. If you run in light shorts and a t-shirt, you may not have a place for your phone or keys. A waist pack lets you carry all your necessities, and some things you might not have considered.

    The right waist pack should be lightweight, load balanced, and designed to ride just above your hips for greatest comfort. The pockets should be large enough to carry your phone, your keys, a wallet, and even an energy bar. Many brands feature one or more bottles, so you can carry up to 32 ounces of water or a sports beverage. My personal favorite is the SPI Belt (which we will feature in a separate blog post).

    4. Reflective Gear

    Reflective gear keeps you safe and visible during low light situations. “Low light,” in fact, need not mean complete darkness. Even at dusk, visibility declines dramatically, and unless you are wearing bright or white clothing, you may not be as easy to see as you believe. Reflective jerseys, trunks, and shoes improve your chances of being seen, and thus keep you safer during your run.

    5. Runbell

    Runbell is a stylish, durable runner’s bell that lets you signal your presence to distracted drivers, cyclists, and other pedestrians. Whether you run on city streets or backwoods trails, you are sure to encounter others, and these people might block your path, step in front of you as you pass, or let their dog lunge at you should you startle it. A polite ching of your Runbell alerts others that you are near, and gives them time to get out of your way or get their dog under control.

    Runbell is finely crafted, and designed to fit any hand. It comes in men’s and women’s sizes, and comes with smooth, circular silicone inserts that let you fine-tune the fit for greatest comfort. The bell rides atop your knuckles, so your hands are free for reaching into your waist pack, tugging up your calf support tights, or pressing buttons on your GPS wristband. Runbell produces a bright, clear sound that cuts through ambient noise and politely warns others that you are drawing near.

    If you are a runner, these five accessories are essential. Each can improve your experience dramatically, and thereby help you stay fit, exceed your exercise goals, and enjoy your run to the fullest.


    What to Wear When Running in Rainy Weather

    Rainy weather doesn't necessarily have to force you to run on the treadmill or lay out on the couch. If you don't mind getting a bit wet, running in the rain can be an intense, yet enjoyable running experience.

    Running in the rain forces you to exercise more muscles as your body compensates for the slick conditions and helps you develop mental toughness... not to mention, you'll probably have the roads and trails to yourself, which can make it all the more enjoyable to go for a run while it's pouring.


    And because the majority of races don't get cancelled just because of a bit of rain, we've decided to compile a list of gear that'll make your run in the rain that much more comfortable.

    Read more