They say only two things in life are certain: death & taxes. If you’re Irish, you could argue that we should tack on one more thing to that list: rain. While we had a pretty good run with the sun in summer 2016, we’re heading straight into winter and the rain is coming full force. The last thing you want is for all your recent physical activity to be undone because of a little water, so here are some tips for running safely in the rain.
In winter, it can be tempting to wrap up as much as possible before heading out. Ordinarily this is fine, but when going running, you need to avoid the temptation of putting on extra layers. While it may be freezing the moment you step out the door, you’ll soon warm up once you get going. Most of the time you’ll only need one extra layer: a light wind and water resistant jacket, preferably high-vis. You might think it’s better to seal off as much as your body as possible, but once you get out, you’ll realise you’re overheated.
Waterproof shoes are the first thing you’ll want if you’re running in the rain, so if you haven’t got a pair already, go out and get some. If you do have a pair of waterproof shoes, make sure to check their soles. If the grip has worn down to a point where they’re almost smooth, they’re no good for running. You need as much grip as possible when running, and this is especially true when running in the rain. For more on shoes, see our blog on choosing the right running shoe for your foot type.
If you’re the kind of person who reads a blog about how to run in the rain, odds are you’re pretty devoted to running. If so, you probably want to stick to your usual technique or time, but neither of these are particularly advisable.
Running in the rain adds about 2 minutes more per mile than usual, so trying to achieve your normal time puts you under a lot of pressure in worse conditions than usual. You may not like it, but you should ignore your time, slow down, and just finish the run.
Slowing down your run of course means altering your technique. Since you’ll have less grip, you should take much smaller strides than you would otherwise. This will reduce the chances of slipping and sustaining an injury.
Protect your Eyes
Perhaps one of the least pleasant aspects of running in the rain is the feeling of it whipping your face. For this reason, many people opt to wear face masks, but you’ll need to protect your eyes too. For most people, a hat with a brim will do just fine, but if you’re a more active runner, you may want to consider investing in a pair of running glasses.
Chaffing occurs when wet skin rubs continuously against fabric, and is one of the most overlooked aspects of running in the rain. Th best way to prevent this is to rub Vaseline on the most at-risk areas, such as the backs of the feet, the waist, and the bra-line.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to continue running throughout the winter, rain or shine. Just remember to be safe, and use good judgement when going out in adverse weather conditions.