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Running in the Dark

As winter gets closer it's time to start the kit checklist for the darker months.

1) Head torch

My favourite bit of equipment. I have used cheap-as-chips ones and they do the job if you're running on pavements. When you start hitting trials and need to see every lump and bump in the path ahead I would recommend investing in a good quality torch. Mine is a Ledlenser SEO7R. When I was looking for the right torch I checked the 'Lumens' (luminosity), battery life, head strap fitting and weight. I would suggest a minimum 200 Lumens.

Other brands to look out for and recommended by canicrossers: Magicshine, Exposure Joystick and Silva.

2) Hi-Vis

Fluro running tops and accessories are available in most sports store. I wear a flashing armband when I'm going to be near roads. You can pick them up quite cheap online and they do the job.

Don't forget to hi-vis your dog! Luckily my spare flashing armband also fits

comfortably around Rufus like a collar but many pet stores sell really good quality light-up dog collars. If you have a sturdy dog harness you can attach a bike light to it. There are hi-vis dog coats but consider the breathability of the fabric for your dog so they don't overheat while running.

3) Outerwear

I prefer running with a gilet and a long sleeved t-shirt in the colder months. The gilet provides a waterproof layer and enough warmth even on the days when I've scraped ice off the car before the run.

Rufus doesn't wear a coat as he tends to get warm quickly but I always have a towel or dog coat in the car for afterwards, especially if he's got wet. I bought him a Ruff and Tumble ( drying coat which is fab and he can't wriggle out of it thanks to the large velcro straps around the neckline and waist.

4) Meanwhile

Remember to be safe. No matter what time of year it is always put you and your dogs safety as a priority. Even more so in winter when there are more hazards and less people about to come to your aid. Always make sure someone knows where you will be and for how long you'll be out. Know the route you will be taking, be aware of the dangers and have a Plan B just in case.

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