Contrary to the fate of the the Wicked Witch of the West, it is highly unlikely you will melt when water contacts your skin while running. However, the likelihood of chafing and blisters does increase when the raindrops fall. Be prepared!
- Avoid cotton next to your skin. Cotton loves water and readily absorbs it. As a cotton clothing item gets wet, it quickly loses its shape. The abundant moisture in a cotton apparel item adds weight and begins to rub because it can no longer remain contoured to your body. The rubbing causes chafing and blisters. OUCH! Socks and athletic tops are the worst offenders.
- Technical fibers – primarily polyesters and nylon blended with lycra fibers – perform best when the rains hit. Polyester, lycra, and nylons are hydrophobic. They “fear” water. They also “wick,” moving moisture away from your skin to the surface of the fabric. Because these apparel items will not lose their shape, they prevent friction, prevent chafing, and allow you to be more comfortable.
- Socks that fit are the most important item when it rains. They should be comfortable and conform to your foot. Just ‘cuz your running buddies prefer a certain pair of socks, that doesn’t mean they are the socks for you. It is worth an extra few bucks to have the sock that hugs your foot and won’t move when you get wet!
- The truth is – things rub in the most humid of conditions and in steady rain. If you are doing any activity for longer than 60 minutes in a steady rain, be prepared with BodyGlide or other anti-friction powders and creams. These are lifesavers during long duration events.
- Nip Guards for guys will keep the sensitive area of the chest protected and help you avoid two blood-stained stripes down the front of your shirt or running top.
- The last bit of advice: Have fun! When you were a little kid remember how much fun rain and puddles were? Remember the gleeful giggles of splashing and stomping around in a downpour? Use that childhood experience to your advantage while everyone else around you whines and suffers.
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