Here’s a helpful guide on how to maintain your running regime over winter

There’s a fine art to mastering the perfect running routine. While some may seamlessly slip into an easy schedule (and you’ll find them breathlessly running along the waterfront rain, hail or shine) others struggle to find that motivation.

My own running journey has been anything but seamless. There are a few months of the year where running comes naturally to me; when it’s a perfectly overcast day, not too hot and not too cold. Unfortunately, that never affords me any time to build up any tangible running stamina.

So with all this rain we’ve been having lately and in honour of Global Running Day (which just happens to be today), I decided to enlist the help of a couple of running groups I’ve recently joined. Here, more seasoned runners than myself shared a few ideas with me for running in the rain that has given me my mojo back. Hopefully, they inspire you to make tracks too.

Dressing is a delicate balance
Don’t overdress, and don’t underdress either. You’ll likely find that you’ll want to shed a few layers as you clock up the kilometres. Make sure you’re wearing a lightweight layer that you can pull off at a moment’s notice and tie around your waist if needed.

Invest in a lightweight spray jacket
With the delicate balance in mind, a waterproof layer to stave off chill is critical to a rainy day run. Try to avoid anything too tight so you don’t overheat as the run goes on, but opt for something that will keep you somewhat sheltered from the elements.

Wear a hat with a brim
It’s not a must, but a running cap or visor with a wide enough brim will keep the driving rain off your face. While a bit of drizzle may feel nice initially, it doesn’t make for a good run to have rain driving directly into your face for 45 minutes. A brim is just as suited to the rain as it is the sun, keeping your face dry and sheltered.

Keep your tech waterproof
Phones, AirPods, Fitbits… Runners like to invest in the latest technology, all of which can come with a hefty price tags. It makes sense, then, to invest in something that will keep those things safe from inclement weather. A small belt with a phone pouch is an excellent option, as is a lifeproof case for any devices you may have. 

Wear pants that prevent chafing
Chafing is unpleasant at the best of times but a rainy day just makes it all the worse. On days like these, reach for a longer legging as well as a shirt with sleeves, to prevent the skin-on-skin burn that promises discomfort for days. 

Wear the right shoes
This one will depend entirely on the terrain you like to run on, but it’s worth considering what your track will look like and how the rain might pose any hazards. Trail running can become decidedly muddy and footpaths a lot more slippery, so opting for a shoe with a little more grip in the sole is never a bad idea.

Join a running collective
When rainy Saturday mornings leave you craving a long sleep-in, little enthusiasm can be mustered for a run around the block. But with the motivation of a group to rally the troops, it gets a little easier on winter mornings. Some of our favourite running collectives in Auckland include Neighbourhood Training, Almighty Recreation Club, 445 Run Club and Graverunners, if you’re feeling up to the challenge.

Embrace it
Honestly, it’ll take a while to get there, but many seasoned runners say they love running in the rain the most. It’s where crowds tend to flock indoors, so the roads are empty, and it’s the perfect time to clear your head and challenge yourself. While I’m personally not there yet, I’m looking forward to the day when I can embrace a rainy run too.

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