In my opinion, spring is the most enjoyable time to be a runner. The harsh cold of winter has left, temps are perfectly comfortable and new blooms line the sidewalks. What’s not to love?! However, spring flowers wouldn’t be possible without spring showers.
The good news is rain doesn’t have to keep you on the treadmill. Running – and even racing – in the rain can be a fun experience so long as you dress for it. Here are some tips to keep your next rainy run from getting soggy!
1. Accept that you’re going to get wet.
Once you’re wet you aren’t going to get wetter. Water will find it’s way in no matter how much you paid for your jacket, and because of this, it’s all about the layering.
2. Layer up, but layer light
Dress for as if it’s 10-15 degrees warmer. Over dressing for a rainy run will only weigh you down and extra wet clothes will not keep you warmer. If it’s colder (upper30s-40s) or windy consider a windproof jacket/shell.
Your base layer is the most important here. Above all, do not wear cotton! Cotton will soak up every drop of water, becoming heavy, baggy, and keeping that water on your body. You want something close to the skin and made of wicking material. Once your skin is wet (whether from rain, sweat or both) a good wicking material will pull that moisture away from your body.
If it’s any warmer than upper 50s the rain can feel good and you may find a base tank or tee is all you need. For low 50s consider arm sleeves or a long sleeve wicking top. The key here is you can remove these layers if you warm up. Arm sleeves can be rolled down and a long sleeve top can be tied around the waist.
3. Don’t ignore your feet
Wicking socks are your best friend. Prevent blisters and chaffing on your feet by wearing socks that will pull moisture away and the more mesh your shoes the easier water can escape so you don’t feel you’re running in fish bowls.
4. Vaseline/Body Glide EVERYWHERE
Clothing and wet skin are a recipe for chafing. By wearing tight layers you have a leg up; less fabric, less rubbing. Play it safe by liberally applying your go-to anti-chafing product anywhere your clothes touch. Sports bra line, thighs, bicep/side body and most importantly your feet.
5. Heads up
Wearing a hat or visor will keep you sane. Squinting to keep the rain out or wiping your eyes every 10 steps will get old fast.
6. Start dry
If you’re racing in the rain you’ll likely be standing at the start corral for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour before you actually get to run. Staying warm and dry is a priority and will keep your muscles from tensing up. If you can change socks shortly before the gun goes off, do that. If not, tying bags around your feet is a great option. Wear a trash bag or poncho to the start line. You will not be the only one, trust me!
7. Be visible
If you’re in a race this isn’t a huge concern as the course is likely closed, but if you’re venturing out on your own, wear reflective clothing. People forget how to drive in the rain and you are the least of their concerns. Be aware and consider leaving the music at home. (Sidenote: if you do take music, put your electronics in a plastic baggie).
8. Have fun!
Running in the rain can be a blast and you will instantly feel more badass! Have fun splashing your way through your run, just be sure to dry out your shoes so you can do it again soon.