Running In The Rain

In the first few Corporate Cup events of the year it’s not unusual to have to a rainy day.

If you’re lucky you can time your run and get it done between the showers but sometimes there’s no avoiding the rain.

What should you do about it?

Firstly try and dress for the weather. That lovely warm woollen top that is so cosy in the office can become more like a dead sheep on your back in that sudden downpour. So try and wear lightweight clothing that will repel water. Lightweight jackets over the top of your running gear or office wear are a good way of dealing with the wet weather.

Jackets vary in their level of protection and it’s always a bit of a balancing act deciding which is best. If you have a very lightweight jacket it’s likely to be just water-resistant, That means it’s somewhat breatheable, and heat and sweat can escape from the inside to the outside. But if the rain is heavy or consistent it will penetrate and you’ll get wet. This kind of jacket is good for light rain, warmer conditions and when you’re not going to be outside for too long.

If you go for something that’s heavier and fully water-proof, the good thing is that the rain will always stay on the outside. The bad thing is that the heat and sweat you generate when running will stay on the inside and it can become like wearing a wet plastic bag. With this type of jacket you can end up getting soaked but from the inside not from the rain outside. This kind of jacket is best when the rain is heavy and consistent, and the temperature is cool enough that you won’t sweat too much.

So with jackets it’s about having options. In an ideal world have both types of jacket available, water-resistant and water-proof and decide which one is going to be the best on the day depending on how heavy the rain is, how warm the day is and how long you intend on being outside.

Shoes
Most running and walking shoes have synthetic uppers which let water in very easily. Obviously avoid puddles and walking in long grass etc which is sometimes easier said than done.
Once you have wet feet there’s not much you can do about it, they can get cold and be uncomfortable. They can also get heavy especially if you wear thick water absorbing socks. On wet days choose thinner socks that don’t hold water. You can also get blisters where the wet socks rub when you run/walk. If you think that might happen – get out the band-aids before your run – not afterwards, Prevention is much less painful than cure.

In terms of grip, in the city and on bitumen most running/walking shoes will have sufficient grip. But if you’re luck enough to have the option of a pair of trail shoes why not wear them. And after your run when your shoes are squelchy and wet what should you do?

Don’t put them right next to a heater and if you want to wear them ever again don’t put them in the tumble dryer. Let them dry slowly somewhere warm – but not hot – over the course of a day or so.

Safety
The corporate cup courses are all pretty safe environments but rain can make things a little more slippery than usual. Try stay to the paths. If you have to go onto the grass to go around people or objects be careful to run a bit more slowly and flat-footed so you don’t slip over. And avoid patches of wet leaves or debris wherever possible.

If you’re wearing clothing with hoods, they will limit your range of vision and limit your hearing so be careful to look for passing bikes or faster runners before you change direction or step out to the side.

With luck, the rain will soon be behind us and we can look forward to some 40 degree days and a whole new set of issue to deal with.

Happy Running!

Chris Taylor can be contacted on 0400 270 929 or at chris@runningdomain.com.au Check out his web site here