Bad weather always looks worse through a window.” – Tom Lehrer
Rainy season does not indicate that you should run inside. To be precise, not a single race is canceled because of Rain. It is up to the runners to ensure that they take up the challenge and use every available opportunity to run in the rain. Not only it builds a mentally tough individual it also increases the versatility.
These 8 tips will make sure you’re prepared for running in the rain, whether it’s for training or a race.
1. Dress Lightly
Many runners make this mistake of putting extra layers of clothes. They usually cover it up with a raincoat which is not needed. The raincoat will trap your sweat and moisture and the heat will make you uncomfortable. Extra layers will not keep you dry. Do not try not to get wet, you would and you should so that you experience how it feels to run while you are wet.
2. Choose the Best Hat
A hat is compulsory not because it will keep your head from getting wet, but it will keep the rain off your face so that you can clearly see, even if the downpour is heavy. Always consider the weather and temperature when choosing your hat. If the weather is warm, have a breathable hat so that the heat escapes and you keep your head cool. If rains have cooled the environs, protect your ears using a fleeced section but wear a thick hat.
3. Stay Visible
Rains reduce the visibility and there is a chance that any vehicle coming from behind may hit you. It is better if your outer dress has some luminous & fluorescent strips that reflect whatever little light is available and keep you safe. If you have no such dress, then stick a big white towel or cloth on your back.
4. Always Watch your Step
When you are Running, in motion, chances are you may inadvertently step in a puddle and either slip or fall. It is advised to keep off the puddles as far as possible because rains usually make all roads slippery. Also, make sure you take small steps and be vigilant as rocks, roots or any other object you could trip over.
While running in rain, your running shoes and feel will no doubt get wet, but one step in a puddle and they will get totally wet, and running will be more difficult.
5. Be Aware of Your Stamina
Running in rains need extra effort as you have to be watchful and also be alert of running in small steps. Both these drain you out rather quickly, when compared to running on non-rainy days. Always keep some glucose lozenges handy which you can easily pop in and continue running till you reach your destination.
6. Discard Wet Clothes Immediately
Despite being wet, the overall feeling is good because your body is warm. But as soon as you have ended your run, your body temperature starts to drop. It is better not to continue in wet clothes and immediately put on some dry clothes. If it is too cold you may even catch hypothermia and it is a dangerous development.
7. Prevent Blisters or Chafing
Runners often suffer from blisters normally but rains compound the problem more. If you have decided to run long, apply a thin layer of vaseline or other petroleum jelly on your body part where you normally get blisters. The usual places are inner-thighs, underarms, and feet and care should be taken else you may be out of your routine for a week.
8. Preserve your Shoes
Wet shoes should be hung upside down to drain any accumulated water and then stuff them with crumpled newspaper balls. This not only helps the shoes keep their shape, the newspaper (often the best blotting paper) draws moisture away from the shoes. Trying to dry them out in a heater or dryer will shrink them out of shape.
If the rain just drizzles stepping in to run is not a problem. Not so when it pours and the hardest part is to get started. But, once you are in and gather steam, it feels good and many times you actually enjoy.
When rain hits hard along with strong winds, you are really building your mental toughness and all geared up to handle any challenge that comes your way. This endeavour will make you a real professional.
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