5 tips for training in the rain

Unavoidable levels of precipitation require a new set of strategies to ensure your physical activity is manageable – without suffering Antarctic chills. Luckily it’s not too hard to do.

Here are the 5 factors to consider, when exercising in the rain:

1. Duration of exercise (remember to keep inline with current restrictions)

When exiting the warmth of a household for a rain-sodden park or trail, your key determinant for what to wear should be decided by time. If you’re off on a 15 minute lap of the block, you’re a better chance of surviving with a waterproof jacket of some sort. Stretching exercise time closer to the one hour limit brings into question ‘waterproofing’. Whilst many items of clothing will make these claims, as discussed in earlier instalments, you’re better served opting for lighter garments that won’t weigh you down as they become wetter.

2. Wind

A horrid environmental condition that helps very few individuals, unless blowing at precisely two-metres per second as a tailwind. Wind and rain is a particularly grim mixture, covering exposed skin is usually the best course of action, whether this involves gloves, tights or a cap. Wind chill is often far more difficult to mitigate than rain itself, which is where a careful mixture of a warm base layer, and a waterproof outer jacket can prove useful. 

3. Temperature

Exercising in the rain, particularly running is often romanticised. Many a runner will refute this portrayal, with temperature the key variable. Exercise in the rain in the middle of summer can be quite entertaining, yet in our current wintry conditions, keep in mind that the wetter or windier you allow yourself to become, the colder you will finish your bout of exercise. High intensity exercise can keep an individual a little warmer purely by measure of exertion and body temperature – this will differ from individual to individual.

4. Type of exercise

A long run in the rain when compared to a higher intensity set of reps in the rain presents two different challenges. The longer you exercise, the more likely you are to generate body heat and up uncomfortable under numerous weather-proofed layers. Similarly, the more intense your exercise, the less you might be comfortable in many layers. Making decisions prior to exercising and accepting a certain level of rain-drenching can be best, in that trying to unzip or modify many layers in the midst of higher intensity or longer duration exercise can be frustrating.

5. Safety

Should it lightning or hail present, the main focus for any individual should be safety. Whilst exercise is important for a multitude of reasons, weighing up the risks of hazardous weather should come first. If exercising after work as the sun sets, clothing or accessories with reflective light strips can make a substantial difference in visibility to other individuals in the community on foot, cycling, or driving.