Running in the monsoons - Part 1

PART 1- The right gear and clothing

It's that time of the year again when we wake up checking the weather forecast for the day! Rains can be very discouraging for a runner, especially if a marathon is approaching. In this multi-part series, we will be sharing a few tips and tricks to go ahead undeterred come rain or shine, without having to skip your run, or feeling too miserable about getting wet!


If you decide to go ahead and run in the rain, you must make up your mind about one thing - you aren't going to be completely dry. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't be comfortable! So here are a few pointers about staying at ease during your monsoon marathons!

  • Carry an extra pair of socks. Wet socks can weigh you down and make things extremely uncomfortable for a runner. So carry a plastic bag in your pocket with an extra pair, or better still, carry a waterproof travel pouch around your waist with a pair of socks in them. If it's pouring during a marathon, ask a friend or family member to wait for you at a point with these accessory changes so that you can switch. Agreed, you might have to break your run to stop and change, but it will give you the right kind of boost you need to continue your race.
  • ii. Chuck the trash bag head covers. Though trash bags are often worn on the head to keep hair dry, it isn't a safe idea to run with them. Nobody wants episodes of strangling or suffocation! If you are so worried about getting your hair wet, and if you don’t have a hood on your raincoat, choose a shower cap instead!
  • Dab on some Vaseline! Not just on your lips, but on any exposed parts of your body. Vaseline is water resistant and this will keep your hands and legs from getting too cold and stiffening up. But do not apply this on your face and neck because it will prevent the skin from breathing and therefore, prohibit sweating, which is not good during any workout.
  • Wear bright clothes. Visibility in the rain is always low, which is why you need to wear bright coloured, reflective clothing. Neons are best for the monsoons because they help you getting spotted even from half a kilometer away! If your raincoats and jackets are dull coloured, stitch on some reflective straps to the front, sides and back.
  • Wear fewer layers. Many athletes feel comfortable with multiple layers on them. And with fashion coming into play even with the running community nowadays, it’s more about the look than the feel. But too much clothing, especially when soaked, with only make you heavier and uncomfortable. So keep it simple. At most, wear a raincoat or waterproof jacket over your t-shirt. However cold it might get, avoid sweaters. Though you might take a few minutes to adapt to the cold and the rain, it still is a better option than running with wet wool!

Don't let the rain stop you, but don't go to an extent where you're running during a thunderstorm either! If you see lightning, take that as a warning to stay indoors. But regular showers and mild drizzles shouldn't restrict you. As the saying goes - If you wait for the perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!