Ditch the Treadmill and Run in the Rain

If you live in the Midwest, you may have forgotten what the sun looks like over the weekend, as we have had tons of rain.  This has many runners heading indoors for the treadmills or skipping their workouts all together.  For me, if there isn’t lightening, I plan to head outside. 

Running outside in the rain doesn’t have to be a miserable experience.  Just like running in the super cold temperatures, the key is dressing appropriately for the weather.  I have included a few tips for making your runs in the rain more enjoyable, or at least help avoid a miserable disaster.

  • Dress appropriately- This means dressing for the right temperature. Many runners see the rain and will immediately think cold. Over-dressing will cause you to sweat more, which will actually leave you colder at the end of your run.  If it is chilly, say 30-50 degrees, think layers.  Your base layer should definitely include a technical moisture-wicking fabric that will help draw moisture away from your skin.  For me, anything over 50 degrees and I will be dressed in a tank top.  Fitted clothes are a better option, as they will typical cause less chafing and won’t get all floppy and heavy if they get wet.
  • Rain Jacket- A super light-weight water resistant jacket that breathes well is great. You can always add layers underneath for colder runs, but you want to have that light weight jacket that breathes well for those warm rainy runs.
  • Hat or visor with a bill- I hate hats, so I stick with visors. That’s more personal preference. A hat or visor will keep the rain out of our face and make your run more enjoyable.
  • Wicking Sox- When I run in the rain, I always use my Swiftwick socks. They are thin and do a great job of preventing and rubbing and blisters.  A quality pair of running socks that wick moisture away are a definite must for running in the rain, and avoiding disaster.  If you don’t have any, head to your local running store and see what they recommend.  If you are in the Kansas City area, head to KC Running Company!
  • Lube- Body glide, RunGuards, Base Camp or even Vaseline. Something to lube up those areas that may rub.  Trust me, it’s better to use and not need it than the other way around.
  • Extra Shoes- If it is a long run, I will toss an extra pair of socks and shoes into my car. I may not need them but sometimes this helps if I start getting hot spots or I am just sick of my feet being soaked.   It’s really great if you start a run in the rain and partly through the run, the rain passes.  Having a fresh pair of shoes and dropping off your jacket can really ramp up the second half of your run.  Again, it’s better to have and not need.
  • Protect your electronics- This includes double checking to make sure your GPS watch is water proof and placing other electronics in a sealed Ziploc bag. Be careful with wired headphones.  My husband, unfortunately, ruined his phone when rain ran down the headphones and into his phone.  His phone, otherwise, would have been fine as he had a water proof belt on. Either skip the headphones, or reach for wireless headphones.
  • Avoid messy hair- Ladies, I don’t know about you but running in the rain leaves me hair a knotted tangley mess. To avoid that hot mess, I will spray detangluler on it and then braid it. My go to spray is It’s a 10 miracle product, but I am sure any detanguler or even some conditioner would work fine.  Just don’t get to crazy or you could have a gooey mess running down your face.
  • Be Visisble- Think neon crazy, highlighter party. Visibillity is lowered in rainy  and often cloudy weather.  Make sure you are seen.  Wearing bright clothes or flashy lights like THESE from Nathan Lights can be a huge help in keeping you safe.  At night reflective gear is great, and drivers SHOULD have their lights on in the rain. However, I  have found that this is often not the case. So I choose bright colors and lights over the reflective gear.
  • Stay Hydrated- Even when you are dripping wet, you need to make sure you are adequately hydrated. Probably less of a concern for your usual easy run, but maintain your routine for workouts and long runs.
  • Think Positive- You are in control of your attitude. If you aren’t a fan of running in the rain, at least think of it as another training opportunity.  At some point, it might rain on race day and having practiced with how to handle clothing, shoes and avoiding chaffing will make your race day less stressful. Try to have a little fun with it, be a kid again.  The last mile run, yell and jump in puddles.

Make it a great run, or not, the choice is yours. 

After the run get out of your wet clothes right away and if you can get a warm shower in.  A towel or two and a bag to place your wet clothes in can help if you have to drive after your run.  Loosen up the laces of your running shoes and stuff some newspaper in them, to help them dry out more quickly. 

Do you have any other rainy weather tips? Comment below and let us know what works best for you.

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