Hopefully over the last four weeks you’ve gotten into the swing of things with running! You’re in comfortable shoes and clothes, found a running buddy or two, and are avoiding injury. And with a few weeks under your belt, you’re over the hump and running might even be a bit fun now!! For the last part of this series, we’ll send you off with some of our favorite tips to keep you running safely for many years to come!

Run happy and safe this winter! Photo: Seth Orme

Be prepared for the Great Missoula Ice Sheet

It’s mid winter. If you look around, it’s impossible not to notice that the Great Missoula Ice Sheet has descended upon us. Sidewalks are icy, trails are icy, roads are icy, and even the ice is icy. Falling on ice or snow is no fun at all. Luckily, there are a number of way to make your feet a bit grippier! Runner’s Edge has a wide variety of traction devices to help you stay upright. Whether you’re on steep mountain trails or a slick sidewalk, we have the right traction device to feel safe and comfortable. Be sure to try on your traction devices when purchasing! There are many high cushion shoes these days (like Hokas) that require sizing up from the size range listed on the packaging.

Did you know? We now carry the IceBug Arcus, shoe, a waterproof shoe with BUILT IN spikes! Shop men’s here, women’s here

Runners braving the ice at the 2022 Resolution Run. Photo: Trasie Humble

Run with friends

If you didn’t get the gist already, running is often a social affair! Aside from the joy of running with a pal, there is also safety in numbers. Running with friends makes it easier for cars to see you. It also prevents attacks or negative behavior. And if you get hurt or have a problem, you have buddies with you to help out. But like we said, most importantly running with friends is fun!!

Run with a bright light

Running with lights is great for two reasons: (1) you can see where you’re going and avoid falling, and (2) cars have another way to see you in the dark. Lights are a win-win and a must for any runner hitting the streets or trails whenever the sun isn’t up.  

Headlights illuminating the M Trail at the 2020 Running Up for Air. Photo: Seth Orme

Be careful when running with headphones

Perhaps you’ve discovered that you’re the kind of runner that loves a good tune or podcast while running. Don’t forget that while you have headphones in, you aren’t as aware of your surroundings! If on the trails, be sure to be considerate of others by staying aware of what’s happening around you. Keep the volume low so you can hear the people, animals, and cars around you. We strongly encourage runners and walkers to use “open-ear” or “bone conduction” headphones that allow the user to still hear everything around them. Our favorite is the Trekz Air by Aftershokz!

Bring your phone

For many, this is any easy one because we’re already carrying our phones. But if you don’t carry a phone while running, let this be a gentle reminder that if something goes wrong, it’s sure nice to be able to call for help! Not to mention, it’s easy to get lost on the trails around Missoula! Try using a mapping app like OnX Backcountry, Gaia GPS, Trail Run Project, Trail Forks, or Strava Routes to help you navigate while out on the roads and trails. Oh, and taking great photos is always awesome as well. Don’t forget to tag @RunnersEdgeMT so we can join in on the fun!

Carry pepper and/or bear spray

It’s very common for runners to carry pepper spray to deter would-be attackers. If you’re running trails outside of the Missoula area (particularly to the north), it’s also a good idea to carry bear spray to deter the possible angry bear. Know the difference between bear spray and pepper spray! Bear spray is in a much larger can, and sprays 30 feet or more in a large plume. Pepper spray is in a much smaller can and has a relatively short range. Pepper spray will not be effective in deterring a bear attack.

Wear reflective clothes and gear

Running Safety Month

Reflective clothing makes all the difference! Be sure to be spotted out on the roads. Photo: Votography Images

It’s the end of January. Days are short. Sidewalks are icy and streets are icy, which means runners often end up in the street or hurdling big snowy ice mounds. There is never a more important time to be visible to cars than during these dark winter days! staying safe. Wearing reflective clothing and gear will go a long way in being seen – not hit – when running in the dark. Look for clothes with built in reflective paneling or highlights. We also have a wide assortment of flashing lights, reflective vests, headlights, and reflective accessories that can help you be seen on the run.