Singapore is no stranger to downpours. If you live here long enough, you find yourself having to choose between skipping conditioning runs and running events year-round and especially in December, the wettest month of all, or making friends with the weather.
Seasoned runners know that attitude and preparation are key to maintaining their running commitment, but newbies often decide to ignore the weather and when clouds empty out, they don’t bother to take safety precautions, doing so at their own peril.
We’ve come up with practical tips to save you from making such mistakes and added a pop of humour to stress the importance of each one!
How to ruin your new shoes
Wear them in the rain despite the fact that they just set you back the equivalent of a week’s salary. Sure, you want to look hot and cool, but don’t you have an old pair of running shoes that would suffice so you don’t sacrifice your designer kicks?
Owning a second pair of running shoes for running in the rain will leave you worry-free, and isn’t that the reason you took up running in the first place?
If you want to attract the wrong kind of attention…
Take an umbrella on your run. First, carrying it can slow you down and if you put it up, your efforts to stay ahead of those raindrops will look comical to passers-by.
Next, if there’s wind gusting at a reasonable rate, your umbrella will invert for sure and you will appear to be a cross between Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee.
Forget the umbrella, get over yourself and pop on a waterproof jacket.
How to look like a stuffed dumpling
Pile on the layers of cotton clothing because you read somewhere that doing so helps combat a chill. Have you ever put an ear swab into a glass of water and watched it expand?
That’s what you are going to look like as rain mixes with your sweat and you turn into a giant jogging ear swab! Dressing to run in the rain is a whole new ballgame, and if the weather is also hot, you’ll wish you were anywhere else.
Even your mum would criticize this warm-up
This tip is a no-brainer: What part of “warm up inside before you go outside so you don’t get soaked before you’ve run a single step” do you not understand? Of course, if your apartment is so tiny, there’s hardly room to change your mind inside it, you can always stretch in the hallway so your body is prepared to exercise.
How to ruin electronic devices
Unless you’ve purchased a water-repellent smartphone that is guaranteed to stand up to being soaked in water or you get your money back, secure your phone and/or music device in a ziplock bag inside the pocket of your waterproof shell.
If you must take either out, does it make sense to indulge in long chats or expose your MP3 player to rain for a long period of time? You decide. Oh, and do zip up that bag.
How to dress for anything but success
Buy outerwear in dark colours so you’re virtually impossible to see in a blinding rain — especially if you run on busy streets and in traffic. Next to dark fabric, you’ll want to make sure there are no reflectors stitched to your garments so traffic can spot you.
Be sure your dark, reflector-free outerwear has a pocket so you can bring along your medical card. We want you to be easy to identify should bad clothing choices send you to hospital.
Show your inner miser and suffer for it
Save a lot of money by refusing to spend a few extra bucks on clothing designed exclusively for rain. After all, manufacturers who produce rain-repelling socks, shirts, pants, outerwear and other garments that protect runners from drowning in a downpour are only out to make a profit.
Instead, employ homemade tricks like putting plastic bags over your socks as a cost-saving measure, and let us know how that works for you.
Want to dry your shoes fast after running in the rain?
Put ‘em on a heater because that’s what your mum always did when your shoes got soaked on your way home from school. Ignore the fact that heaters break down rubber and compromise glue so quickly, it takes no time at all for soles to get a divorce from uppers.
Of course, if you’re craving a new pair and need an excuse, you can always sabotage your current footwear using this creative method to justify your purchase.
Let the rain gods keep you safe
Trust that the familiar ground you travel on your usual run will respond to your footfalls in the rain exactly as it does when the sun’s out.
You know your route like the back of your hand — every curb and pothole — so take long strides that put you at higher risk of tripping or falling, and assume drivers will be gracious enough to ignore you when they see you sprawled on the pavement after a deep puddle takes you down.
Whatever you do, don’t tote water
Why bother to hydrate frequently when there’s enough water pouring down around you to host Noah's Ark? Besides, you read that dehydration isn’t possible when one runs in the rain, even though you got that advice from an Internet site that specializes in unfounded data.
If we can’t convince you to bring water along, we urge you to stick out your tongue as you run.
Become a carefree puddle jumper
Jump in as many puddles as you like just for fun — particularly if you can soak an innocent passer-by trying to get to his car in a downpour because he’s not wearing a raincoat.
There’s a distinct chance that your playful episode will be rewarded when that man revs up his engine, pulls dramatically away from the curb and whizzes by you, emptying that puddle on you.
Glasses? What glasses?
Don’t bother to coat your glasses with film so your lenses repel rain. It’s more romantic to see the world through a watery haze, don’t you think?
Of course, you could run wearing contact lenses and see how they hold up, or undertake your workout without benefit of eyewear, even if you’re somewhat blind. If you decide on that recourse, please wear a talisman and a GPS device to help you find your way home again.
Had a good laugh? So did we - which is why we must conclude this romp by urging you to run in the rain for reasons even scientists extol: It’s nearly impossible to get overheated while running in the rain; your body stays cooler, so you run further. Exercise different muscles on a rain run due to terrain differences that require smaller muscles to navigate surfaces.
Expect to build fortitude as a result of adverse weather that brings out your intrepid spirit and shows you once again that you have what it takes to succeed. Besides, it’s fun, uplifting and if you're lucky, you'll recall the joy you felt as a child racing through raindrops without a care in the world.
Have you had a comical or unusual experience while running in the rain? We want to hear from you and hope to receive a downpour of responses to this question.