Running in the rain is a different experience

19 May, 2019 • by Admin

The key is you’re going to get wet, stay warm and safe, and remember to change out of your wet clothes as soon as you finish your run.

Let’s face it, not all runs are going to be perfect. This especially applies to those of us training for a race. For the rest of you, it’s okay to crank up the heat and sleep in even more when it’s pouring outside. But if you’re training for any form of outdoor competition, then you can’t let a little rain get you down. After all, it’s not like they’re going to cancel the race unless things escalate to Tsunami or Hurricane levels.

The chilly rain and frigid winds of the 2018 Boston Marathon separated runners into two soggy groups. Those who could endure and those who couldn’t. The weather produced unlikely successes, including a lesser-known men’s champion. Try these tips to make sure you're prepared for running in the rain, whether it's for training or a race.

Change up your mindset

Embracing the suck is key to performing well when running in the rain. If it’s raining now, and it’s a nice day for your race, then that’s always good. You don’t change workouts for weather at all. If anything, you encourage it.

Instead of being all Ugh, rain, try to be like, Hey rain isn't ideal, but guess what? My body is capable of cool things, and I'm not the Wicked Witch of the West so some sky water isn't going to melt me.

You're being active in less than perfect conditions, and that makes you that much stronger. Your focus should be on your run, how you feel, and the results. See the rain as a tool and focus on how it can help you during your run, it can cool you down as you clock in the pace you're striving for. Think of it as another minor obstacle to get stronger!

Keep rain out of your eyes

Wearing something with a brim is one of the best ways to keep rain out of your eyes. For cold, rainy runs in the 30s or 40s, consider adding a light beanie or headband for warmth. A waterproof cap will help keep your head warm and dry(er).

In a driving rain, wearing a pair of light-tinted or clear glasses can help protect your eyes from getting pelted. A good anti-fog lens cleaner will keep your vision clear in the moisture and humidity.

Be extra cautious

Rain makes the roads extra slippery, so it’s important to make sure your shoes have enough grip to prevent slipping. Take smaller and quicker steps, and pay attention to your footing to try to avoid as many large puddles as you can. Your modified strides reduce the amount of time you spend on the wet surfaces, which decreases your risk of slipping.

Dress smart

Don’t overdress, it’s the most common mistake runners make in rainy weather. You’ve heard it said that you should dress as though it were 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is. This truth applies even in the rain, though you may need to narrow the temperature margin the colder it gets. (Sunny and 40 degrees will feel warmer than rainy and 40.). If you underdress, then you might catch a severe case of pneumonia. Contrary to popular belief, the key is to actually wear fewer, but smarter clothes.

The layer that is closest and dearest to your body needs to be technical, fitted and moisture wicking. The next layer after that needs to be both wind and water-resistant to ensure that no water comes into contact with your inner layer. Athletes in colder or snowy conditions can opt for heavier duty jackets when temperatures are really low.

Seal your electronics

To keep your phone or iPod safe while running through the rain, look for workout gear that has inside pockets for your devices. And although that's a good start, since those pockets might not keep electronics completely dry, you might also consider shelling out some extra cash for a waterproof case. If you don't run in the rain often enough to justify the purchase, you can seal your phone in a closeable plastic bag.

Bring extra socks

If you can, carry an extra pair of socks with you – especially during a rainy race. A dry pair of socks will make a huge difference, and is more likely to prevent blisters. This is especially helpful if it stops raining mid-run. If it’s not too cold, thinner socks don’t absorb as much water and can help with comfort.

Skip if weather getting really ugly

Running in the rain is a different experience, it's something new, and the variety alone makes it more exciting. You definitely should try it. However if the weather is getting really ugly then you should skip it:

  • It's thunder storming: If there's lightening in the sky, stay inside, very cautious about lightening.
  • It's very windy: When it’s windy and rainy, your body can cool down really quickly. And though running against the resistance of the wind can be fun and challenging, you shouldn’t attempt the run if the wind gusts are higher than 40 miles per hour. That's when it can really impede your workout by messing with your form. It gets unsafe.
  • You want to run fast: Slick roads are very hard on your muscles and connective tissue, especially your Achilles and hamstrings. So if you want to get a speedy workout in, it’s best to hit the gym or wait until the rain clears.


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