As Daylight Savings Time is coming to an end, it’s time to start thinking of colder weather and shorter days. Here are some gear items I used to get through the season.
1. Knuckle Lights – I cannot praise these lights enough. I am someone who cannot stand wearing a headlamp. It makes me crazy and gives me a headache. Plus I find it tiring on my eyes as the light bounces around. And if that’s not enough to make it tough, I seem to keep hitting reflective surfaces and blinding myself.
Enter Knuckle Lights. I first heard of these on the Marathon Training Podcast, a forerunner to Steve Carmichael’s RunBuzz Radio. After he described them, I immediately went out and got a pair. They may be my favorite piece of winter running gear.
I run in an urban environment that is kind of unique. It is combination of city, a college campus, a hospital and a decommissioned military base. By being such a varied environment, there are different lighting conditions. I have street lights for big chunks of my route, but there are dead areas within. I also have some really dark areas as I get out to the end of Fort Monroe. The knuckle lights offer great versatility.
When I enter a dark area, I simply click on one or both lights and see my path. I love the fact that they light the path and don’t bounce off of hard surfaces back into my eyes. I also like that there are two, so if the batteries die in one, the other is likely to be available. This has happened to me in the past.
2. Nite Ize LED – Nite Ize sells several products that help you remain visible when out riding or running. My wife made it clear that I will not be riding my bike especially without being visible. The Nite Ize make me look like a Christmas tree, but I think I would rather have the red lights on my bike and person instead of the top of the ambulance as they take me away. I use the four lights to the right. The SlapLit lights I wear on my ankles when riding. I wear the helmet light on my bike helmet. The Clip-on marker I wear on my backpack when I am carrying stuff, otherwise I wear the Sport Belt.
3. 180s CRG (Convertible Running Gloves): I got these gloves last year and they were wonderful. They are a combination of very light running gloves and mittens. The mitten part folds up into the glove when not being used, but pulls over the fingers to block the wind and add warmth when needed. Believe me, these are warm. What is wonderful is that they cover you for a wide range of temperatures. I have worn them from the 10s – the 40s F. They also have terrycloth on the back where you can wipe your nose. Unfortunately I can’t find the pair I own any longer, but they have an updated version that includes an LED light on Amazon.
4. Brooks Men’s LSD Lite Jacket III: Where I live in Hampton Roads, VA, we usually have moderate winters with a few days of real cold. This jacket is a wonderful ‘tweener. It fits somewhere between cool and cold when you where something warm underneath. The biggest benefit is that it does a nice job of blocking the wind. I like to wear it with an Under Armour Cold Gear Fitted Mock. This combination keeps me just warm enough, but if I feel like I’m going to overheat, I can pull the LDS jacket off and tuck it into my waist pouch or vest. I also have worn the Jacket in snow and light rain. I will warn you that it is water resistant, not water proof. But worn with a running cap and the hood up, it helps keep the water out of your face.
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