I’ve been struggling with motivation to get out and train recently. Residual fitness from the Autumn has carried me through the weekly track sessions until now but I’m becoming more aware that my overall fitness is dropping.
Hard efforts are becoming more difficult to sustain, my legs are getting tired towards the end of a 6 mile run. I’ve gone from 50 miles a week down to single figures. This would be fine but its been about 6 weeks of laziness now and I need to start developing my base fitness again.
The problem I’ve got is that its dark when I leave the house for work, and its dark when I get home. I’m not afraid of the dark, it just doesn’t inspire me to go out and run. I like to get off road, which I can do about a mile from my house, across 2 pretty busy roads and many sideroads and I’m not particularly keen on getting run over either. And when I get to the trails, Its pitch black and I can’t even see my own feet.
So really, my 2 main issues with running at night are Safety & Visibility. But…running in the dark is a great way to see your environment a bit differently. The same old streets can be given a new lease of life, and those country trails can become accessible all year round.
So, I dug out my old Alpkit Headtorch, replaced the batteries and it was good to go.
Then I opened the #FireUpYourRun box that the lovely people at Nathan Sports sent me and had a look for something I could use.
I could pretty much light up a rave somewhere in a field in Hampshire if I wanted to with this lot!
I picked the most powerful of the strobe lights and the hand torch to take out for a run. When I got to the trail (without being run over – goal 1 accomplished) I realised pretty quickly that even on the brightest setting, the Strobe Light is purely intended for other people to see you. Its good at that job, you can set it to red or white flashing/steady modes and you can clip it to clothing or an adjustable belt that comes with it. If you positioned it just right, you could even make it part of an Ironman fancy dress outfit. Most importantly, its USB chargeable, which means you never have to worry about batteries.
I set to running up and down a pretty technical trail to put the USB-chargeable torch to the test. You can see in the video the difference between the headtorch and the handtorch. It was great to have both but you couldn’t rely on just the handtorch. Also, whilst its designed for runners with a good handstrap and downward facing beam, when you’ve got your arms flailing about for momentum and/or balance its not always easy to point the beam on the trail ahead.
Having said that….I liked it paired with the headtorch, I liked the way you could shoot it off up the path to get an idea of what was coming further ahead (try doing that with your headtorch without cricking your neck!), or to give yourself a chance of spotting overhead branches.
I managed to get down the hill in one piece at a pretty good speed which I impressed myself with – bear in mind, I’ve broken my ankle running this exact trail before in daylight. I even saw the badger in my torchlight that chased me on that previous occasion.
The torch also has a strobe light, rear facing red light and an emergency alarm in case you get into trouble on a dark night. I think it would be a great torch for walkers & dog-walkers too.
So I’ve got no excuses now, If I want to go out and run off road I can, no matter what time of day. Time to start logging those base miles.
Check out Nathan’s #FireUpYourRun range if you want to dazzle
other runners this Christmas. There’s a whole load of hi-viz / useful be-seen lights / and cool little storage pockets. Great ideas for presents too. And perfect if you’re an old school raver.
Fire & Ice Reflective Water Bottle – £8.80 (This has gone straight onto my bike – its reflective capabilities are amazing)
Lock Laces – £4.99 These are going to get tested properly when I start swimming in my shoes!
Lightspur – £10.78
Zephyr Fire 100 Hand torch – £25.00
Orion Strobe – £19.81
HyperBrite Strobe – £8.00
Pulsar Strobe – £8.49
For clarity: Nathan sent me this box of goodies to review for free. I picked out the items that I would actually use and that I felt comfortable featuring on this blog. Everything in the box was then distributed amongst my runclub. Thank you Nathan.
The headtorch is my own. I bought that. They’ve discontinued it now, but I’d definitely go for another from their range when this one packs in. Unless someone’s got a better recommendation?
How do you light up your run through Winter?