Running safely

Soaking wet runToday I got a very real example of why I run with safety equipment in my pack at all times; the picture to the right shows what I looked like when I got back from my run. Cold, dripping wet, literally soaked to the skin and face numb with cold. Sounds extreme yet all I was doing was one of my regular trail runs on the normal pleasant and gentle Wiltshire downs.

Amazing how even in a place like this the weather can turn fairly horrendous during the space of a 7 mile run. I left home to some gusty winds but there was a bright sun in the sky. As the run went on the wind got stronger and at one point I had to stop and walk leaning into the wind just to keep moving. Then the rain and subsequently hail came in horizontally making for distinctly uncomfortable running conditions.

It often feels overkill going out on these runs with a pack, after all you could quite easily do them with no water or anything at all. But since most of my running is on trails and at most times my house is the nearest civilisation to where I run I’ve started carrying a bit more kit. After all being 2 or 3 miles from the nearest building and potentially the same from the nearest road means if I did hurt myself in some form I might be stuck for a while.

Horizontal hail hurts!

Horizontal hail hurts!

So now I carry at all times water, a windproof jacket, a buff (if I’m not wearing one), a survival blanket, a gel and of course my phone. A normal mandatory kit list for most trail races these days anyway but something that gives me that little piece of mind.

Running with every piece of bare skin stinging from hail I was very happy to have my jacket to put on, in fact having over trousers might have been even better!

However it did occur to me that doing training for a road marathon is going to mean a bit more running on the road over the next few weeks. It’ll feel weird cutting down on carrying gear and most likely not carrying a pack at all. Not sure I’m ready to let go of that bit of the trail runner in me yet.

Do any of you carry safety kit like this with you? If you always run on the road what do you carry?

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