Well, last weekends 18 mile run showed me the importance of the right clothing. It was blowing a gale, chucking it down with rain and at times I was knee deep in muddy water…. and this was just a training run !
It is easy to go out under prepared when you think you know the area and you feel you aren’t far from home but 18 miles is 18 miles and if you hurt yourself you can get very cold very quickly so it is worth investing in some decent clothing to make sure that you can stay dry and warm.
I work on the basis my legs will always get wet & muddy and their isn’t much I can do about it… but I do aim to keep my core area dry and warm if possible… It is a bit of a balancing act sometimes because I do get very hot when I start running so I need to wear breathable clothing and layers that can either be removed or rolled up/down as I get hot/cold.
Running on the South Downs you can go from being quite sheltered to being on top of a ridge with sideways wind and rain almost blowing your feet from under you. At the moment I’m doing most of my running on the South Downs training for the Steyning Stinger marathon on the 1st March. I always knew I would be out running in bad weather so I invested in a decent waterproof jacket. I did plenty of reading of reviews and research before buying one and I ended up buying a Hagloffs Gram Q ladies jacket…. in white….. I really wasn’t sure that a white jacket would be a good idea with all the mud but it is machine washable and tumble drier proof and comes out looking white again ! It is made from Gore-tex Active fabric that apparently improves its waterproofness after tumble drying but it is still breathable.
All I know is that in last weekends terrible conditions it kept me dry and warm. The hood has enough of a peak to direct the rain that runs down away from your face and the sleeves have thumb holes so you can tuck your fingers inside and keep them drier as well.
One thing that is important is to make sure that the jacket you buy has fully taped seams. I have made this mistake before and you find that the water gradually seeps through the seams and you still get wet on long runs in bad weather. I must admit I love this jacket. It is light enough to wear on warmer days with just a vest top underneath or you can layer up with merino wool base layers etc if it is really cold.. It folds up in to almost nothing so I can tuck it in to my back pack if the weather improves or just carry it with me “just in case”
These photos show the main zip and the way it has been constructed to be waterproof as well as the taped seams (if you are looking at jackets all taped seams look the same…)
So, has it been worth the money ? Yes, especially because I managed to find it half price on sports shoes.com 🙂