Enjoying trail running in the rain
October 8, 2010
I absolutely love running in the rain. Itand#8217;s one of my favorite times out on the trails. The temperature is just right and the smells are so refreshing. As with everything, though, there are precautions you should take, from the choice of shoes and clothing, which trail and whether lightning is expected.
Because we live in the mountains, we assume we have the right clothing for outdoor adventures in wet weather, but that seems to not be the case. What works for skiing or snowshoeing wonand#8217;t necessarily work in the rain. Then there is the simple fact that you will probably get wet no matter what you try. I make sure to try to keep my feet dry, my head and my core. And if you get cold easily, a good set of clothes will be important.
As for core and clothes, I look to cycling gear a lot. They tend to be well designed to wick water and breathe well. For my head, Iand#8217;ll wear a baseball-style cap that is also moisture wicking. You can always pull the inevitable hood on, but who wants to listen to the swishing sound of nylon?
For your feet, youand#8217;ve got to get a pair of GORE-TEX shoes. My pair for this winter is the crossover GTX from La Sportiva. Theyand#8217;re a light shoe with a built-in gaiter (that comes in real handy once snowshoe running season starts). I also recommend the Wildcat GTX by La Sportiva. This shoe is a bit heavier and doesnand#8217;t have the gaiter, but itand#8217;s the shoe I ran with last winter and loved it. Iand#8217;ll probably do both this winter. Thereand#8217;s always a pair drying (not by the fire). Iand#8217;ll have a lot more to say about gear when the snow comes.
Consider how hard it has been raining when you decide to head out. Some trails will develop lots of puddles and mud. I steer away from those. Thereand#8217;s no need to do end-of-season damage to the trails. We all hate when a trail is biked or run on too early and there are uneven potholes from somebodyand#8217;s shoe or tire. The PCT between Old 40 and Interstate 80 is usually runnable in adverse weather. So is the Judah Loop.
Last but not least, if there is any sign of lightning, go to the community center and run on a treadmill. If you must head out, really study the weather. If the lightning is at the lake and heading south, thatand#8217;s one thing, but make sure you know. You donand#8217;t want to get stuck on a ridge in a thunder storm. Lightning is deadly and you wonand#8217;t win. What did the article in Wednesdayand#8217;s paper say? That and#8220;480 lightning strikes in our area during this last storm.and#8221;
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and#8212; Peter Fain is a local trail runner who competes regularly in regional trail races and snowshoe runs in the winter. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
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