On a recent Sunday in our Wellesley location, while discussing why it seems as if you run faster during the night—hint: the “rod cells” in the periphery of your eye work better in low-light and at detecting motion than the “cone cells” in the center do, giving you a greater sense of motion from objects moving past you in the dark—we neglected to consider how this principle works in reverse. Indeed, not only do you, as a runner, sense the motion of bright objects better once the sun goes down, but other people, namely those driving motorized vehicles, sense the motion of you, as a runner, better once the sun goes down. General truth, credit to Store Manager Jon Pierce, end of story? Not quite.
Runners, you can further your cause. For as much as traffic cones, lines on the street, and the eyes of large game animals proclaim their existence in the blackness of night, you can do the same. What follows is an overview of several products featuring reflectivity, all of which are now at (or soon to be at) all Marathon Sports locations.
Jacket-wise, Saucony, Brooks, and Sugoi all offer reflectivity in products designed for the summer-to-fall transition. Saucony’s 3-1 Sonic Jacket (100% polyester; $140.00) with DWR (Durable Water Repellent)-coated fabric features what Saucony calls “ViziPro” reflectivity and can be converted to a vest by removing the magnetic sleeves as well as a vest with extra ventilation at the back yoke. Turning the sleeves and back inside out reveals extra visibility in the jacket version.
From Brooks, the Essential Run Jacket II and Essential Run Vest II (100% polyester with DWR; 84% polyester/16% spandex; $85 jacket, $75 vest) feature DWR coating like Saucony but offer the jacket/vest distinction in two separate products. Both feature what Brooks calls 360 degrees of “retroreflectivity,” back vents, and an internal pocket for your iPhone or iPod. (“Retroreflectivity” is designed to reflect light back to the source with minimal scattering; Brooks places this on the shoulders on their jackets and tops.) Marathon Sports will also carry the LSD Lite Jacket III and LSD Lite Vest (100% polyester ripstop with DWR; $85), both of which pack into their own pockets and haveadjustable drawstring waists. (The LSD Lite Jacket III also features an easy-cinch hood.)
Sugoi’s Versa Jacket (100% polyester), meanwhile, converts to a vest much like Saucony’s 3-1 and features two front zip pockets and one back zip pocket for stowing the sleeves. The reflective detailing and woven ripstop fabric provide safety as well as protection and ventilation.
And finally, in the way of running shorts (which we covered in our last newsletter here), Adidas’ Supernova 5” and Supernova 7” shorts (100% polyester twill, $40, $45) offer 400 candlepower of reflectivity (yes, that is actually a unit, and to put it in perspective official data shows that white shirts offer 0.3 candlepower). Both also provide climacool ventilation and FORMOTION fitting designed to perform during linear running motions.
All in all, considering our eyes catch bright motion at night better than anything else and with the days getting shorter, there is no better time to stop into any of our locations and get outfitted for your fall training. Indeed, then you’ll be visible while feeling like you run fast as you work on that real speed.