Science answers “Should I walk or run to stay dry in the rain?”
Finally science has answered the dilemma, thanks to a paper published in the European Journal of Physics. It’s a serious paper, with lots of equations and graphs going on - you can read the whole deal here, but the summary is:
- If rain is falling vertically, run as quickly as possible.
- If you’re going into a headwind, also run as quickly as possible.
- If you have a tailwind, things get more complicated:
For motion downwind, there may be an optimal speed, which equals the component along the direction of motion of the wind velocity. This happens only if the ratio between the cross-section of the body perpendicular to the motion and the horizontal one is large enough; otherwise, the best choice is again to run at the maximum speed one can reach.
Of course you could always laugh in the face of science and, you know, use an umbrella.