Why running in the rain can be a great idea

The monsoon season in India can dampen the will of even the most enthusiastic of runners but these experienced runners point out how rain can make you perform better.

You might have heard Frank Sinatra’s famous number ‘Singing in the rain’ at some point but to some, running in the rain is where it’s at. For those who avoid getting their shoes wet, perhaps it’s time to change your ways. We have some reasons to convince you. Read on.

Helps you focus on your runs

Running in the rain involves your senses more. This, some feel, gives you an edge in focus and concentration. Kranti is one such believer. “When you are running through or around puddles or on uneven paths, it makes you more conscious. It becomes a different kind of workout and you get to reap the benefits of that.”

For those mindful of slip-ups, remember it isn’t a race. “You don't have to worry about your speed,” Kranti points out. “You just have to enjoy each step and be more conscious about your foot landing.”

“You only have to see 30 metres ahead of you when you run!” she adds, referring to any visibility fears one may have.

Ideal time to prepare for marathons

For more serious runners, running in the rain is a valuable time to train for major marathons that kick off during or after the monsoon season such as the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon which kicks off in November or the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in January.

“Most of my friends enjoy running in the rain because the rest of the year it's quite humid in Mumbai and we commence our training for the marathons during the monsoon time,” says Deepa Katrodia, a mother who makes sure she makes the time to run. “Even for intense training workouts, we prefer the rains.”

“For the rest of the year it is quite humid in Mumbai and we need at least 4-5 months to start training in the monsoons,” she adds, implying that the training usually coincides with the first shower.

The rain can help you cool down - literally

Running is a physically strenuous exercise that heats up the body. But running in the rain can help control temperatures and keep the body tuned for longer periods. "Mumbai is mostly humid throughout the year and the rains reduce the humidity," explains Nitin Kale, vice president at a software firm and an avid runner. "It’s fun to run in the rain because in India we don’t get rain all year round like in most countries so we patiently wait all summer for the rains to come," Kale adds.

“The weather is cooler,” says Kranti Salvi, who recently took part in the Boston Marathon. “The rain cools you down all the time. It’s a different feeling! One has to experience it.”

Everything around you looks better

For some, it is the insta-beautification of the surroundings that matters. The sweet smell of the earth, the slick shine on the leaves, the reflection of the city on the streets and the patter of the rain drops – it all adds to a sensory experience unlike anything during dry weather conditions.

“Running in that climate is sheer joy as the rains make it a place of beauty and grandeur,” Kale paints a vivid picture. It could also mean a lot to those who are a bit spiritual. “You feel rain God’s blessing in the form of rainbows and the like,” says Kranti as she trails off reminiscing about her own runs.

If you want to know what steps to take before running in the rain, check out this great guide by Devendra Mane.

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