Training doesn’t stop because of bad weather. If you’ve got a race coming up, it’s time to embrace the elements and master running in the rain. But who knows- you might even learn to love it! Running in the rain when it’s hot can be refreshing (if you do it properly). Follow these tips to make running in the rain a breeze.
1. Choose the right shoes (and socks!).
Selecting the right shoe is often the first source of stress for rainy day runs. You don’t want to take the risk of something happening to your brand new shoes that you treat like a newborn baby. That’s when it becomes tempting to pull out an old pair of broken down shoes. But don’t do it! Injuries can’t and won’t discriminate between weather patterns. If the shoes aren’t good enough to wear when it’s dry, they definitely aren’t good enough to wear when it rains.
Take a peak at the bottom of your running shoes. If they’re smooth on the bottom, it’s going to be very hard for you to run in the rain without slipping. To be ready for the rain, your kicks should have grooves on their soles that are deeper than one millimeter. These channels allow water to run through them and also help the shoes get a better grip on the road.
Additionally, wearing a pair of wicking socks can make all the difference when it comes to rainy runs and blister prevention. Every line of Swiftwicks socks are made with fibers designed to repel moisture. Olefin, the primary material in most Swiftwick lines, holds less than .01% of its weight in moisture, keeping your feet dry no matter the weather.
2. Heads up.
A hat with a brim is your number one rain run accessory. The brim will keep the rain off your face and out of your eyes so you can see. (Always a plus.) Make sure the hat is moisture-wicking and running-specific. It should keep you cool and stay snug even on windy days.
3. Temperature matters.
At 60 degrees and above, rain is a refreshing break from the heat. But once the temperatures drop into the 50s and 40s, rain can make you uncomfortably cold—and miserable. Layers will keep you dry and warm, but only if they are the right layers. Inside layers should be technical and moisture-wicking. Outside layers should be weather resistant. Which leads us to our next tip…
4. Layer strategically.
Make sure the layer closest to your body is technical, fitted and moisture-wicking. Your outer layer should be wind- and water-resistant. A lightweight weather-resistant running jacket works in moderate temperatures, while chill-you-to-the-bone winter rains may require a heavier version. But while it is key to stay warm, make sure that you…
5. 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.)
6. Be visible during the day.
Clouds, rain, fog, mist and a hopelessly gray landscape mean reduced visibility for drivers. Now is the time to grab your reflective gear and blinking lights—during the day. If cars can see you, they’ll be less likely to hit you. (Another plus.)
7. Don’t chafe.
Wet weather increases the potential for chafing. Use Body Glide even on shorter runs, paying attention to areas where friction is especially noticeable, such as your inner thighs, underarms and bra lines. Guys should use sweatproof nipple guards, such as Nip Guards. (Old school band-aids fall off in the rain.)
8. Fill your shoes with news.
After you’re finished running, stuff newspaper into your shoes. (No, seriously.) The newspaper will help the shoes keep their shape and draw out moisture. You may have to switch out the newspapers once or twice depending on how wet your shoes are (or how fast they can read).
9. Keep your electronics Ziploc fresh.
To prevent an unfortunate malfunction, buy a waterproof holder for your smart phone, iPod, and other electronic devices. If your holder isn’t waterproof, plop the whole thing in a Ziplock bag before strapping it to your arm or waist.
10. Slippery when wet.
While water seems to make all surfaces a bit more precarious, some are worse than others. Try to avoid running on white painted lines, pedestrian crossings, metal utility covers, and fresh asphalt, which are all especially slippery when wet.
Tips from Fleet Feet St. Louis. Visit one of their five St. Louis locations here!