D-Run-Ching in the Rains

Recently a friend asked me how to run in the rain. Well, it’s simple, you just go out and run. But there are a few points you should consider before heading out to run in rain. Running with a slight drizzle is one of the most enjoyable things you can do during the monsoons. Obviously you can’t run in torrential rains, but when there’s a little bit of a drizzle, all you need to do is just lace up your shoes and head out. The following are some points to ponder, which might help you with your future run-showers:

  • It is safe: First of all, running in rain is completely safe. There’s a common myth that running in rain can put you under with a cold or a disease. But with careful planning, you can run without any fear of an infection. And don’t just take our word for it!
  • Warm Up: Start off with a good warm up. Warm up is very essential before a run, especially during cold weather. The body needs time to get warmed up. Do some dynamic stretches, or short strides before starting out. Better to warm up before, than to nurse injuries later. Here are some good warm ups to do.
    Dynamic Warm Up
  • Clothing: Do not; I repeat DO NOT wear cotton clothes. Wear moisture-wicking clothes, or dry-fit clothes. Cotton acts as a sponge and weighs you down. Plus it increases chafing. Same goes for socks; wear a moisture-wicking pair. Wash your socks regularly and start your run with a dry pair. Wearing wet socks for a long while can cause blisters, which can be really painful.
    Don’t wear too many layers of clothing, as this can result in heavy, saggy clothing. But if the rain is cold, with strong headwinds, an extra tee or jacket can be helpful. Apply Vaseline to avoid chaffing.
    Wear neon colours or a reflecting vest. Visibility is poor in the rain and you don’t want a motorist colliding with you.
    dean-karnazes-ultramaraton_galleryImageCheck this out for more tips
  • Electronics: Try not to carry any gadgets, but if you do take your mobile for a few clicks, keep it wrapped in a plastic bag. Same goes for your wallet/cash/ID. I made this mistake of not carrying a plastic bag last week, and my mobile stopped working for a couple of hours.
  • Hydration: Just because it’s raining it doesn’t mean you don’t need hydration.
    Well, unless you’re this guy

    Since it is cold outside you might be going good without water, but dehydration may hit you without warning and leave you with a headache, weakness, dizziness, cramps, chills and even vomiting and nausea. Do not neglect water intake while running in such conditions.

  • Footwork: The weather feels good, rain hitting your face and cool wind blowing towards you. In these conditions, it is easy to lose focus of your pace and footwork. The most important thing you should remember while rain-running is to keep your pace low. The cool weather might make you feel good and you might want to increase your pace, but mind you, don’t get deceived. If there are strong headwinds blowing towards you, this can sap energy out of you. Hence a slower pace will prevent you from losing energy unnecessarily. Another thing to remember is your footwork and your general posture.
    runningform2Don’t land too hard on your foot. Take short and easy steps, land softly, and don’t raise your foot much. Always take care of potholes, trenches/ditches and of snakes.
  • Strip Off post run: Get out of your wet clothes as soon as possible, take a warm shower and change into warm clothes. It is a part of the recovery process. It is so easy to become sick if you don’t. Preferably add a little Dettol to your bucket, to avoid infection. Now, for your now soaking wet shoes, wrap it into a layer of newspaper and keep it in a dry place. Change the newspaper after 3-4 hours. The shoes will dry off before you head out for your run next day. And don’t forget your post-run recovery routine!

Last but not the least, have a hot cup of ginger tea. Or if you prefer, rum. (I always get confused between run and rum😉 ).
Best routes in Manipal for rain-running: End point road, End point (take care in the park and mud trails, there have been snake sightings), Manipal lake.

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