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Tips to bring out the keen runner in you – without damaging your health

Are you a keen runner? If the answer is “yes”, then there’s no doubting that – in normal times – there is no shortage of opportunities to indulge your passion in Kent. We carried out a simple web search and came across this site. This month and next there were due to be 47 running events staged in the county.

And they are/were widely spread – from Sheerness to Rochester; Dover to Marden; Gravesend to Deal; Staplehurst to Lamberhurst you probably don’t live far from an intended organised running event.

Of course, it should be made clear that, given the month’s lockdown we have just entered into, most of these events, if not all, sadly, are unlikely be held his year. But there’s always next year and, anyhow, if you are a keen runner, the reason you are so inclined is probably as much to do with your health as it is about entering events.

Lockdown started yesterday, but there is no restriction on you undertaking a healthy run. The bigger turn-off may have little to do with our Big Brother Government, it could be as simple as finding that it’s raining outside and it’s much easier to just stay indoors and lob another log on the fire.

Yes, there is little doubt that with the gyms now officially closed more people will take to the streets to get their exercise. Although this wasn’t such a problem during the first lockdown (remember those lush summer days), we have to consider the weather now.

Finding the motivation to run in the rain is tough, but getting out of the door is the hardest part. Once you’re running, the wet weather and puddle-dodging are exhilarating. And logging the miles in a downpour is a sure way to feel hardcore. That said, wet-weather runs can give you a mental advantage if you’re training for an event. Knowing you’ve run in all conditions means you’re prepared for any weather that the race (or fun run) day throws at you.

So, with this in mind, the guys at NURVV Run wanted to share some rainy-day run tips – to get you out and about during lockdown. NURVV Run is a tracking device attached to your running shoes to allows you to gauge your progress.

Bit of a tenuous link we’ll admit. But one should never pass up the chance to lob The Boss into a post.

And here are those tips:

1. Wear the right gear: Ever heard the saying there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear? While it’s not 100% true – no running jacket is going to help you in a monsoon – the right kit can definitely make the difference between a soggy, cold run and a warmer and slightly drier one.

These wet-weather basics will make rainy runs much more comfortable:

  • A cap – a hat with a brim keeps rain out of your eyes (especially important if you wear contact lenses) meaning you can actually see as you run. Go for a running-specific cap made from breathable fabric.
  • A water or wind-resistant jacket – don’t run in a fully waterproof jacket as waterproof fabric traps moisture and warmth, meaning you’ll soon overheat. Instead, opt for a lightweight wind and water-resistant layer.
  • Shoes – if you have more than one pair of running shoes, choose those with the best tread to give you more grip on wet and slippery surfaces.

2. Dress for the temperature: When it’s raining outside it’s tempting to wear ALL the layers but you’ll soon get too hot. Instead, check the weather forecast and dress for the temperature. In most cases, a lightweight rain jacket over your usual sweat-wicking running top should be fine. On warmer days, skip the jacket – you’ll end up carrying it – and accept the fact you’re going to get slightly wet.

3. Waterproof your gadgets: The NURVV Run device is rain- and mud-proof, so no need to worry about running through puddles (although leave puddle jumping until the home strait to prevent waterlogged shoes). Our trackers even allow you to record your run phone-free, so you can leave your phone at home and still capture all your running data. If you are taking your phone and it isn’t water resistant, keep it in a waterproof pocket or small ziplock plastic bag to protect it from rain.

4. Banish the chafe: Chafing can happen on any run but add rain and wet clothes into the mix and you’re more likely to get rubbing. Lube up with some Vaseline or Body Glide pre-run. Apply it in the places you usually get chafing or blisters such as your inner thighs, under your arms, around your sports bra and on your feet.

5. Think of it as mental training: Not every run is going to be a crisp and sunny jog through the park and rainy runs will make you appreciate those dry ones even more. The added challenge of wet weather and going out when you really don’t want to, is good mental training. It trains you to push through when the going gets tough – in the final miles of a race for example. If you’re training for an event, it could be raining on race day, too. All those rainy training runs will mean you’re well prepared and know what kit and mindset work best for you in wet weather.

6. Go hi-vis: Visibility can be lower on rainy days so make sure you wear a bright layer or some reflective strips on your clothing to ensure cars can see you.

7. Get changed quickly: Makes sense, but as soon as you get in from a rainy run, strip off those clothes. Having wet clothes next to your skin lowers your body temperature. Stuff wet shoes with newspaper to help them dry.

8. On race day: If you’re taking part in a running event on a rainy day, pack a bin bag to wear in the starting pens. Add some arm and neck holes and it’ll keep you warm and dry while you wait. Take some older running shoes and socks and wear these before you check in your gear so you’re starting the race with dry feet. And don’t forget dry clothes, socks, shoes and underwear to travel home in.

9. Know when to take it indoors: While running in the rain can make you feel like Rocky, there are times when it’s just not good for you! If there’s a thunderstorm, call it a day, you don’t want to get struck by lightning. The same goes if you’re interval training or running at a faster pace – wet pavements can be slippy and will cause injury longterm. 

NURVV Run comes with a tracker (right) for each foot and they can be attached to the insoles (left) to ensure they don’t go anywhere they shouldn’t

NURVV Run is a new sports wearable that measures your running from both feet. NURVV Run is for runners who want to improve their technique, to run faster and reduce injury risk. Available now priced at £249.99 (with a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not impressed!) from here.

Can’t think of puddles without remembering this great scene from The Vicar of Dibley
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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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