People are often understandably reluctant to perform their routine run in wet conditions. This practice is not only perfectly safe with the correct preparations but is also recommended. If you can face bad weather and prioritize your fitness over a little moisture, then giving a run in the rain a try may be a fun way to spice up your exercise routine. Make the most out of your rainy training with these 10 top tips:
1. Avoiding Injury
Not to discourage your rain running bravery, but there are certain added risks that one needs to be aware of. These wet surfaces can obviously lead to accidental slip-ups, and if its a particularly cold day, your stiff muscles are extra susceptible to pulls and tears. To avoid any of these unpleasant mishaps, extend your warm-up routine, and consider wearing insoles which are good for individuals with balance issues and plantar fasciitis.
2. Wear a Hat With a Brim
Fighting the rain away from your freezing face or blurring eyes would be a full time job if it weren’t for your trusty head gear. Always select a hat that covers the ears and is breathable but won’t fly off of your head at the slightest hint of wind. Do not simply flip up your hoodie either, as this will obstruct your peripheral vision.
3. How to Dress
When it’s cold, the natural instinct is to pile layers upon layers, but as your body heats up and begins to cook beneath all of that clothing, what are you going to do? Carry wet clothes while you’re trying to run? Adopt a “less is more” attitude, avoid over-precautionary dressing, and simply add a wind/water resistant jacket on top for good luck.
4. Your Running Shoes
If the bottom of your shoes look as smooth as marble, then guess what? When they meet the slippery terrain of the outside world, they are going to move on their own accord, and you are going to come crashing down. The grooves of a shoe allow water to flow beneath them while gripping to the ground, which makes them imperative to a safe rain run. If need be, buy a new pair, preferably something breathable with waterproof fabric for extra protection.
5. Prevent Chafing
Chafing is a common adversary for the runner, but when moisture collects up between your skin and clothing, it becomes a much more probably annoyance. Thankfully, a little bit of vaseline should do the trick, focusing on your feet, inner thighs, underarms, and bra lines.
6. Protect Your Electronics From Getting Wet
If you manage to beat your time or win the race, only to find your phone has been waterlogged beyond functioning, your achievement will be utterly ruined. Your safest bet is to leave all electronics at home (including your headphones and watch), but if you simply cannot be separated from your digital devices for that length of time, tuck them away in a waterproof bag.
7. Change out of Your Wet Clothes Immediately
Your body may be radiating heat as your cross that finish line, but your wet clothes are still a severe threat, increasing your risk of hypothermia dramatically. At the very first appropriate chance, swap your clothing for a spare dry set, and jump into a shower as soon as possible.
8. Foot Care
Much like the above, the sooner you take off your wet shoes, the better, and once you do, shove them full of newspaper to absorb the inner moisture faster (note: never use a dryer!). It is also recommended that you start your session with the driest shoes possible, so rather arrive in a different pair and change into your running gear just before you take off. Finally, thinner socks retain less water, meaning a lighter foot for you to zip along without burden.
9. Be Loud and Visible
One of the less common (but more serious) threats to a rain-runner, is that of low visibility, meaning that a driver may not see you in time and their brakes won’t be as responsive in these wet conditions. For your own safety, pull out your most colorful clothing, presenting the brightest, most neon reflective version of yourself that your wardrobe can muster.
10. Modify Your Route and Technique
If you’re looking to top your best time, rather stick to the treadmill than attempting to break any records in the rain, or you may risk injury. Utilize these downpour sessions for endurance workouts, and stick to flat land to avoid those muddy puddles that are waiting to soak your freezing foot and coat your shoe in slippery gunk.