Couch to 5K
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Who wears high visibility or bright gear when running off-road?

I was looking at the website for the local JogScotland group and found the following safety recommendation:

" Hi-viz, reflective, light or bright clothing should be worn at all times whether off-road or on-road for the following reasons:

· On-road: other road users will see you from a distance

· Off-road: should you have an accident; you will be more easily located by passersby, mountain rescue teams, and rescue helicopters

· Dog walkers can see you in time to keep their dogs under control

· Horse-riders can prepare their horses to avoid potential panic

· Wild-fowlers, game hunters (yes they are around the area) will see you better

· Mountain bikers will spot you, with luck, before colliding with you"

Personally I have not felt the need to be seen from a distance when running off-road. I like to slip through the country lanes and woods as discretely as possible. I only occasionally encounter dog walkers on my usual routes, and have only met horse riders once and no mountain bikers - yet!

I can understand the second point, and when out hillwalking I carry a neon yellow 'bothy bag' (emergency shelter) so I can be spotted my the Mountain Rescue Team. But on the footpaths where I run, I'm not likely to slip down a gorge or fall into a deep ditch, or otherwise be unseen by passers-by even if I'm wearing dark clothing.

7 Replies

In lighter/warmer weather it would not concern me much either, but with the darker evenings starting to come upon us and the change in temperatures already for those of us further north, there is always a niggle in the back of my mind if I have gone out without anything hi-viz on that I really shouldn't have.

I mostly run in the evenings often so would not go out without my neon jacket once its dark, but during the day, unless the weather is poor I would not be too bothered.

I have taken a bad spell once 3 miles from home on a trail with no phone & no money (the phone I had then always turned itself off when I went running! luckily no bother with my new one) and no one around to help, I just had to walk home very slowly, stopping at every bench I could to rest along the way. So I would add a phone & money to the list also.


I always run with my lightweight HiViz jacket on, I hate being cold so don't mind the jacket and when I'm warm I just tie it around my waist, its not a problem, gives me two extra pockets for tissues/phone if I'm heading further out too. Winter time I also wear a bright HiViz yellow warm hat. Some of the tracks I run on have cyclists tearing through them at a great speed, its reassuring to know I can be easily seen by them before they mow me down!! I always get an acknowledgement from cycling commuters on the cycle track leading into the city, its always busy and I would never venture onto it without wearing bright clothing, it wouldn't be fair to them and it would be dangerous for me.


I just like bright Pink! Also bright yellow! When else can you get to wear these lovely colours without looking daft!


All my running, so far, has been in daylight and my running shirts are bright. The long-sleeved ones for the cooler days are cerise and aqua, but I'd like a yellow one too, so should be visible. I've not run in a jacket so far, but will probably get a neon yellow one then instead of the nice blue one I had my eye on.


Im just starting to think about winter gear. I like the sound of these hi viz jackets, but I'm worried I will get too hot. Can someone make a recommendation? (preferably something they've tried), also something I could persuade my 16 year old daughter to wear as she sometimes runs in the dark which really worries me. But for her it also needs to be 'cool' (or whatever the latest word is, in my day it was 'trendy')


I don't know, as I think I'll get too hot. Some days are worse than others. It was 8°C when I went out today and as places when I was out of the wind,I was hot. This was in short-sleeve shirt and shorts!


There's a girl I've seen out running, who wears more of a tabard style hi-viz top, that she just puts over whatever she's wearing that day. I'm thinking of getting one of these are they'd probably be cheaper than a full on jacket, and you'd still be able to wear it if it was warm - practical but not particularly trendy (sorry cupcakesandstilettos!)


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