I work full time.
I often don’t get home until at or close to 6 in the evening.
If I want to get a workout in, I need to make do with the time I have.
(Yes, I know I could be getting up earlier. Don’t start with me! LOL)
So anyway, I often end up heading out on a run or ride after 6pm, and sometimes as late as 7, so I can very possibly, and sometimes do, end up out after sunset.
Here a few habits I’ve set in place to help keep myself safe, for both my late night workouts and daytime ones.
- Warm up first. I’ve stolen my warm-up routine from Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, but the first thing to help insure that you come home safe from a workout is making sure that your body will be able to do it! A few quick stretches to get me going are all I need to feel more prepared for what I’m about to tackle.
- Dress appropriately. For cycling, make sure you aren’t wearing baggy pants; one cuff caught up in a chain can ruin a workout, not to mention injuries and bike damage if you crash. I wear snug-fitting capri pants most days, with my bike short liners underneath for a bike ride, or just my running skort for a jog.
- One headphone. I have much better luck riding/running distances if I have music to keep me company, but I only ever wear just one earbud when I’m out. Specifically, my right ear. I keep my left ear open and available to listen to traffic or other people that might be out if I’m on a path. Cars or faster cyclists… the best bet is to keep my ear to the traffic that might be approaching on that side, so I can have my music and stay safe, too!
- Tell Jamie my planned route. Whether I’m biking or jogging, I give him an idea of where I plan to go; it might be as little as “I’m going to Lake Elizabeth and back,” but it’s enough that, if something were to happen, he’d have a place to start if he had to look for me. That said, I also don’t leave without a…
- Personal locator app. I found this awesome app, called Life360, that has already come in handy once to save my bacon. It’s a pleasantly simplified GPS app, that allows Jamie to easily see where I am, based on my phone’s location. When I got a bike flat at 9:30 the other night, AND my headlamp went out? Using this app, he was easily and precisely able to locate me and come to my rescue! It’s super handy, and even though this isn’t its intended use, I was certainly glad I had it when I did!
- Reflective tape is your friend. Sure, black is slimming, but it also makes you disappear in the shadows that come with dusk and evening, and a simple run of reflective tape can help increase your visibility, both as a runner and as a cyclist.
- Have ID and medical inusrance card. I keep my ID, Kaiser card and $20 in a zipped pocket in my pants at all times. There are companies that provide ID services, like Road ID, but until I get one of those, I never want to leave the house without something that will help someone identify me, just in case the worst should happen.
- Ack! A helmet! I can’t believe I almost forgot one of THE most important things! Protect your brain! I love an organ donor as much as anyone, but I’d rather you keep them for your own use for as long as possible! Always, always, ALWAYS wear a helmet when on a bike! Jamie’s and my pet peeve is adults who ride with kids, without their helmets. Everyone on a bike should be wearing a helmet. Always. No exceptions. (Thanks to my friend Ariel for pointing out that I missed this crucial tidbit!)
These are just a few tips to help you stay safe when you’re out on the road, and just a few that I have adopted… I’d love to hear if you think of any safety habits I’ve missed!