Runners – be honest with yourselves. Hands up if you’ve ever launched yourself out of bed, looked out of the window, seen some light drizzle, then decided that 10k run was a silly idea? Hands up if you’ve ever decided to run in the rain without waterproof gear, then decided halfway through that you’ve made a schoolboy error?
These problems aren’t just limited to runners – anyone who regularly exercises out of doors will know how uncomfortable exercising in the wet can be, and how easy it is to say ‘no thanks’ to that Sunday soccer match after seeing a storm clouds gather. However, the answer to these issues is incredibly simple. Wear waterproof clothing, and see how your performance not only increases, but stays high for the duration of your activity.
If you’re a keen rambler, you’ll know that nothing dampens your enthusiasm more than wet feet. Not only is a wet sock uncomfortable, cold and smelly, but it also increases your risk of blisters, which really will put the kibosh on your day out. Avoid swollen, painful feet by using hiking socks and making sure that you carry more than one pair. You’ll also want to take a towel with you, so your feet can have a breather if you remove your boots, and remember to treat your hiking boots with a waterproofing agent. Also, and we mean this kindly, don’t walk through smaller puddles in the hope that your boots can deal with the water. Why take the risk? Avoid puddles unless you have to.
Runners sometimes forego waterproof running socks as they assume that tarmac doesn’t hold much water, and the tightness of their running shoe will keep any rain out. This, sadly ,is not true. Not only will wet feet result in reduced concentration and an inability to run at your best, the blisters you’ll accumulate will ensure that your running isn’t up to scratch for at least a week afterwards, and your training will suffer. The expense of waterproof socks is completely set off by the comfort they’ll bring you, and you’ll notice the difference almost immediately.
Finally, don’t forget that waterproof gear protects your largest organ – the skin. You know what damp skin looks like after a prolonged exercise session in the wet – freezing cold, pale, and tingly. Anyone who’s ever taken part in a snowball fight without gloves will testify to this.
Avoid peeling, chafed skin by taking care of it before you leave the house, and say goodbye to nursing unsightly marks left by wet clothes that have rubbed your skin raw. If you’ve seen what the cold and wet can do to your hands, don’t assume that the rest of your body is exempt. Plus, who wants to come home from a run raging from the discomfort of lugging around a sodden sweatshirt? Remember that waterlogged gear will drag you down, and if you want to keep going no matter what the conditions, invest in some high-quality waterproof clothing.