We’re in the middle of our rainy season here in Sydney. It seems to be getting wetter and wetter each year. For that matter, it seems to be getting hotter and more humid, and colder in winter each year as well. Not sure if it’s the climate changing or my perception changing as I get a bit older! Here are a few tips to keep you as happy as these rather damp runners.
Look After Your Feet
Firstly, there’s your shoes. When it’s raining, your shoes get wet, and stinky. If you’re looking for ways to take care of wet shoes and get rid of the stink, you should take a look at this video.
And then there are your feet. After the first couple of hundred metres of your run, you’re likely to have wet feet, and wet feet can lead to blisters. To prevent blisters you can use body glide which is an anti blister product. It comes in cream or balm form in an easy to rub on stick. Rub it on areas which you know are likely to rub, and prevent blisters before they happen. You can also use Vasoline petroleum jelly, though it is more messy. As an experiment I once rubbed petroleum jelly all over one of my feet, then put my shoes and socks on and went for a trail run. I was expecting it to feel pretty yucky when I put my sock on, but it was fine, and I didn’t really feel any difference when I was running. And no blisters. Body glide can be used on any areas of your body where chafing might be an issue without wrecking your clothes, which does give it an edge over Vaso! You can get hold of it in sports stores and chemists.
A good pair of socks will go a long way towards keeping your feet dry as well. Try Drymax for a sock which will move the sweat away from your foot, in an apparently superior manner to wicking fibre socks.
Pay More Attention
Roads, footpaths and parks can be slippery in the rain. If there’s been wind about as well, you’ll likely come across other hazards such as seed pods and sticks which you can turn an ankle on. Wet leaves and petals can be particularly slippery, as can metal manhole covers and the white markings on the road.
Most wearables will be at least water resistant, but check with the manufacturer before you take your device out into heavy rain. I know it’s blasphemy, but you could also try running without your device when it’s raining! Keep phones and iPods in inside pockets of wet weather jackets. If you really want to be sure of keeping your phone dry, you can fork out the $$ for a waterproof case, or seal it inside a ziplock bag before you put it in your inside pocket.
Start Your Run During a Break in the Weather
It’s so much easier to get out the door if you’re able to sneak out between rain showers. If you’re doing this, it’s a good idea to run in a closed loop so that you’re never too far from cover if it buckets down, or if there is an electrical storm. If you run a 3km loop from your home, you’re never more than 1.5kms from home. Try reversing your direction each loop to make it a bit more interesting.
Never Run in an Electrical Storm
It simply isn’t worth risking your life to run in an electrical storm. Check the weather forecast, check the radar BEFORE you go out, and if a storm looks likely, jump on a treadmill, or put your feet up till the storm passes.
Find out more about what to do in an electrical storm.
Make Yourself Visible
Black is very slimming. So slimming in fact that on dull overcast days, wearing black or dark colours can make you seemingly disappear altogether. You blend in with your surroundings, which is not great when you want drivers to see you out on the roads! Wear your brightest coloured clothing on rainy days, it’ll cheer you up and make you far more visible to drivers (it’s not called hi-viz for nothing!) Avoid light colours in cotton fabric on rainy days, unless you’re up for the next wet T-shirt comp at your local sleazy bar. Surely they don’t still run those things, do they?
Wear Less, Not More
The more clothing you wear when it’s raining, the more clothing you have to get wet. Wet clothing is uncomfortable and heavy. Wear lightweight moisture wicking clothing, and wear less than you think you’re going to need. The first half to one km might be a bit on the chilly side, but after that, you’ll be glad you haven’t over-dressed.
Wear a hat or visor to keep the rain out of your eyes. Especially important if you wear glasses! Some people prefer visors for rainy days as it stops their heads from sitting under wet fabric, but if the UV index is high, a hat is better as it protects your scalp from the sun. If you wear glasses, using an anti-fog lense cleaner will help stop your glasses fogging up (as the name would suggest)
Welcome The Challenge
Lastly, you should see running in the rain as an opportunity to train for a wet race day. Getting out amongst it will help to build mental toughness. You don’t skip your shower because you might get wet, so don’t skip your run either!
Water falling from the sky is a fact of life, and if you missed your run every time the weather was less than perfect, well… you wouldn’t be a runner for long.