Rain is famous for ruining picnics and other outdoor events, but it doesn't have to interfere with your recreational running routine.
You have to take more safety precautions when running in rain, but you don't have to stay indoors. If you are training for a race or marathon, then you definitely can't take the day off because of the rain.
Most races aren't canceled because of rain, so running in the rain is good practice, just in case it does rain on race day. But if you run for fun and aren't training for a race, then taking the day off might be a good idea.
Do indoor exercises instead because with slippery roads and mud puddles, running in the rain can be a serious safety threat and may make you ill.
A healthy body helps you fight off a myriad of
illnesses, but why tempt fate if you don't have to?
Here are a few tips to make running in the rain more bearable.
You need to be prepared to properly run in the rain. Image used under a Creative Commons license with the kind permission of Kigaliwire and Flickr
Wear a wide-brimmed hat. A hat will help to protect your face from the
beating rain and cutting wind, which will help you see better.
Wear several light layers of clothing. The layer closest to your body is for warmth. It should be made of a fabric that will absorb sweat and water, and keep it off your skin as much as possible.
If it is also cold
outside, wear a second layer made of light fabric for extra warmth. The
third and outer layer should be water resistant to keep you as dry as
possible. Many runners just throw on a plastic garbage bag. However, you
don't want to go overboard with your clothing. You will get hot and
tired. The added weight of wet clothing could drag you down too much.
Protect your electronic devices. In today's world of gadgets, you aren't likely to travel too far without a few gadgets, especially your cell phone. Keep them in a water proof bag or pocket.
Although, you should leave
most of your electronics behind, it is always a good idea to keep your
cell phone handy. You never know when you may run into an emergency and
have to call for help.
Make sure you are seen. The rain can not only interfere with your visibility, but the visibility of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Wear bright, reflective clothing to make sure everyone can see you.
Protect yourself from chafing. When your body is wet, you are more likely to chafe. Parts of your body will feel like they are rubbed raw from the friction of running. Lubricate sensitive areas with petroleum jelly or some other type of anti-chafing cream.
Watch your step. Water can hide all sorts of hazards like a pot hole. Water also makes the road slick and slippery. Be extra careful of where you step.
Rain never stops play for a dedicated recreational runner. Image used under a Creative Commons license with the kind permission of Tom MacWright and Flickr
Obviously, the first thing you want to do is get dry. Strip down and get into some warm clothing or a snugly blanket.
If you are at a racing event, this may be difficult, but it's not impossible. All you need is to plan ahead. Recuperating will be much easier with an RV available, but a regular car will do just fine.
Plan ahead. Get into your car, cover the windows – window covers are part of the planning – and get under a blanket. Once you have dried out, you can put on the spare dry clothing you brought, and slip into your dry socks and shoes. Planning!
Even if the weatherman doesn't call for rain, all of this gear should be a part of your plan, just in case.
Whether at an event or coming home after running in the rain for fun, take care of your shoes.
Loosen the laces, take out the insoles, and stuff the shoes with water absorbing materials such as crumpled balls of newspaper. This will help your shoes keep their shape and draw out moisture.
Never put wet shoes on a direct heat source, as this will warp your shoes and wear out the materials.
Running in rain isn't fun for most people, however there are some people that think it's absolutely fabulous. They love a light rain sprinkling on their checks when they run and the cooling effect it has on their entire body.
But, when it comes comes down to a hard rain, not too many people think that is all too pleasurable. Rain or shine, just be safe and have fun. That is what running is all about.