Running Your Best Race in Adverse Weather
Running a race often means dealing with adverse conditions, including rain, freezing temperatures and heat. Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike, said:
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people”
The weather is beyond our control, so the best thing to do is focus on what you can do to make it work in your favour. In adverse conditions, a little planning goes a long way. We’ve put together some tips that you can implement on race day in the face of challenging weather.
Running in the rain
- In wet, cool conditions, you should err on the side of overdressing, preferably utilizing items that can be easily removed during a race such as gloves, a thermal hat and arm warmers.
- Wear a bin bag as a poncho while you wait at the start line. This will keep you warm and dry while you wait at the start. Whatever you do, don’t run with the bin bag for any distance.
- Wear a hat or visor. The hat will keep a bit of heat in your body and it will also keep the rain out of your eyes so you can see where you are going.
- To avoid chaffing, also apply Vaseline, BodyGlide or other anti-chafing products to any potential problem areas prior to running and consider carrying a small with you on the run of your especially prone to chaffing. Guys, you should also think about applying some nip guards or band-aids.
- Post-run, change from out of your sweaty stuff and into dry clothes as soon as you can to avoid catching a cold.
Running in the Heat
- Heat is one of the most difficult elements to run a race in, so it’s important that you prepare as best you can as performance suffers in the heat and humidity. In order to avoid this, ensure you are well hydrated before starting the race. Drink more fluids and electrolytes leading up to race morning.
- When training, it’s important that you adjust your training times and race paces to reflect how you’ll perform in hot conditions.
- In order to make sure you don’t burn out as a result of the heat, adjust your race pace the first few miles to ensure you have enough energy to finish strong.
Running in the cold
- On particularly chilly days, a body-hugging, breathable layer (running tights or compression apparel) might be necessary to maintain a normal body temperature. You’re bound to head up while actually running, so having layers that are easily removed will allow you to maintain a normal body temperature.
- Wear old or inexpensive clothes pre-race. You can wear these items in the starting pen to keep you warm whilst you wait to start the race. Once you start running and have run a mile or two, your body will begin to warm up and you can get rid of them. Most marathons pick up discarded clothing at the start and donate to charity.
- Using Vaseline will help keep you warm, it will help keep your hands and lower legs from getting too cold.
- Start the race easy in order to let yourself warm up; it might take your body longer than usual to do so.
- Post-run, change out of your sweaty stuff and into dry clothes as soon as you can to avoid catching a cold.