Rain should never be an excuse for missing a run, but it is all too easy for even the most dedicated and disciplined runners to stay between the sheets when the flood waters are rising. Yet, with the proper gear and a little preparation, running in the rain can be an enjoyable and exciting adventure to break the monotony of an every day running routine.
1. Grab a quick shower before heading out the door. The water will help to warm up the body and give a few minutes of needed comfort before getting wet.
2. Accept the fact that getting wet is going to happen when running in the rain. The only way around it is to carry an umbrella which will definitely kill good running form.
3. Wear a breathable sweat removing material on the skin. This will help to keep as much moisture as possible away from the body and help to prevent overheating.
4. Never wear a water proof jacket. While it may sound like a good idea to keep one’s self completely dry, overheating and/or dehydration could occur.
5. Drink water pre run and know that once wet, it will not be possible to tell whether or not one has stopped sweat, a sure sign of dehydration.
6. Be sure to wear a hat, but avoid heavy materials. Running in the rain can cool one off, but it can also cause overheating once material gets heavy with water.
7. Avoid heavy materials when layering. As every runner knows, layering is the key to being comfortable when running, but just like proper head-wear, heavy material that gets wet will weigh even the best of runners down. Runners should dress for the temperature and view the rain as just a bump in the road.
8. Use water resistant running shoes. A good cross trainer is ideal for working out in the rain and can help provide better comfort and traction.
9. Be aware of the risk of hypothermia. Running will certainly keep the body warm enough that this shouldn’t be a problem, but even a 40 degree day, normally perfect for running, can turn into a nightmare when there is a cold rain if a runner is out too long. Runners should use common sense and look for signs of uncontrollable shivering or frost bite.
10. Protect vital areas from painful chafing. This means care should be taken both pre and post run to vital areas such as the feet, thighs and, for men, nipples. A layer of oil base lubricant such as Vaseline stands up well to water and continued rubbing and can protect areas until a proper drying out is available.
Running in the rain can be an exciting experience. It adds variety to a run, and who doesn’t feel twice as hardcore when running in spite of mother nature?