Wherever you live, if you’ve developed the routine of running regularly, you’ll inevitably end up running in the rain. Not an issue actually, and you don’t have to take your runs indoors. You simply need to embrace the elements and continue to get your sweat on, but in a safe manner.
Try these helpful tips to make sure you are well prepared for running on a drizzly day, whether you’re doing it for training or for a race.
Running in rainy weather requires that you strike a balance between staying warm and not getting chilled or weighed down by wet clothing. Try a wicking tank instead of a long sleeve shirt, and shorts instead of tights. If you’re the type who gets cold easily, try wearing gloves or arm sleeves to keep yourself warm and comfy. You should also consider dressing in layers. See to it that the inner layer is made of a technical fabric like polypropylene which wicks sweat and water away from your skin. The outer layer must be a wind- and water-resistant vest or jacket.
2Wear a Brimmed Hat or a Baseball Cap
Abrimmed hatwill keep the rain off your face, allowing you to see clearly even in heavy downpour. The hat will also keep your head dry, and for women this means not being weighed down by long, wet hair. Be sure to checkthe temperature and other conditionsbefore you run. If itiswarm and rainy, choose a breathable hatwith lots ofventing so you don’t overheat. If itiscold, windy, andrainy, go for athicker hat along witha headband over it to protect your ears. The headband willalso help keep your hat from blowing off.
3Be Visible to Motorists
Choose outer layers that are bright and have reflective strips. Remember that rain reduces the visibility of drivers and they are less likely to expect that runners are out on the road. Those wild neon tights you love will surely come in handy for a run on a rainy day.
4Apply Bodyglide or Vaseline to Prevent Blisters and Chafing
Blisters and chafing occur when wet skin rubs against fabric. This means running during a drizzle increases your chances of chafing. More so, if you’re prone to developing blisters, it’s advisable to apply bodyglide or vaseline to your underarms, legs, toes, on bra straps, waistband, and any area that can become problematic. Bear in mind that rain traps moisture between your skin and clothing, making you more susceptible to chafing and blisters. Lube up and avoid the pain game!
5Seal Your Electronics
Store electronics like your smart phone and iPod in a waterproof carrier or a zip lock bag. Keeping your gadgets in inside pockets may not be enough to keep them dry, so using a plastic sealable bag is worth it to protect your electronics from water damage. Or, you can just leave them at home.
You should also consider using wireless earphones. Even if you secure your electronics in waterproof bags, there’s still a chance that the wire sticking out can leave an opening that’s large enough for water to get through. If you’re used to running with music, it is advisable to invest in wireless headphones, especially the water-resistant ones.
6Do a Shoe Check
Inspect the sole of your favorite running shoes. If they are smooth on the bottom, it’s gonna be tough for you to run without slipping. Make sure your shoes have grooves on their soles because they allow water to run through them and also provide better traction on the road.
If you want to keep your feet dry and warm, you may consider buying a new pair with waterproof fabric such as Gore-Tex. Otherwise, expect your feet to get wet as most running shoes feature mesh so your feet can breathe. Though there is really nothing much that you can do about the mesh, wearing thinner socks that don’t absorb water will prevent soggy feet from weighing you down.
7Watch Your Step
You must be extra careful because the road is slippery. To avoid a nasty fall or serious injury, take small steps and pay close attention to your footing, much like how you would run on trails, knowing that there could be plenty of loose branches, roots, or rocks that you could trip over. Avoid stepping in as many potholes as you can. Your shoes will surely get wet from the rain, but they will get completely soaked if you step in a deep puddle.
8Modify Your Usual Run
A rainy-day run is not the ideal time to beat your PR or work on sprint intervals. If you are trying to achieve a certain time goal or if you’re training for a race by doing a specific speed workout, it would be better to jump on the treadmill because the rain will most likely reduce your speed. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that rain can add up to 2 minutes per mile to your time. Moreover, training on a slippery road puts you at risk for injury because pushing off and landing on wet surface imparts more load to your muscles.
Aside from skipping your speed workouts, you must also modify your stride. By taking shorter and quicker strides (85-90 per minutes), you reduce the time you spend on the slippery surface and decrease your risk of wiping out.
9Change Out of Your Wet Clothing Immediately
You may feel warm when you finish your run, but see to it that you immediately change out of your wet clothes. When you’re wet, you are at an increased risk of suffering from hypothermia, a medical emergency that happens when your body loses heat faster than it can generate it, resulting in a dangerously low body temperature.
The key to preparing for a rainy day run is to wrap your head round the fact that you’re going to get wet. Waterlogged clothes, chafing, and soggy shoes don’t really make for the most enjoyable run. So stay safe and warm, and be sure to change into warm, dry clothesas soon as you complete your run. Stuff your soaked shoes with crumpled newspaper to draw moisture away. If possible, leave them to dry for a day or two, and never ever throw them in the clothes dryer!