With the crazy weather around our parts lately it’s hard to imagine being able to run outside at all. It’s just rain, rain, rain everyday--we may as well be taking a boat into work. The roads and trail are flooded most the time but that doesn’t mean running outdoors is impossible. With the right prep work even a rainy run can be great!
1. Prevent Chafing - Chafing can happen during any run but it can be especially worse if you’re wet from the rain. If you are planning on going out for a long run and it is going to rain be sure to use something such a Vaseline or 2Toms (Which we carry!) on parts of your body that usually chafe or blister. This could be your inner thighs, underarms, feet, sports bra lines (women), or nipples (men).
2. Dress Properly - The way you dress can have a huge effect on your run. If you overdress because it is cold you will potentially end up overheating and being weighed down by wet clothes. If you underdress you will end up much colder than usual from being wet.
Make sure you dress as though it was still dry out and just accept that you are going to get wet. Pick clothing that is water-resistant and colored brightly. Many people don’t think about wearing high visibility clothing or reflective apparel when it is raining but that is one of the most important times too. Visibility is very limited when it is raining and some brightly colored reflective clothing can make a huge difference in your safety.
Don’t wear shoes that have smooth bottoms. You will want shoes with channels on the bottoms so they disperse the water giving you more traction.
3. Protect Your Electronics - If you are planning to carry your phone or Ipod for music or to track your steps be sure to protect them from getting wet. Drop it in a ziplock bag before you head out to make sure it stays dry. If your earbuds aren’t totally waterproof a boonie / safari hat may supply enough overhang to keep them working.
4. Change Out of Wet Clothes - Once you finish your run your body temperature will be high but be sure to change out of your wet clothes. When you are wet, you have an increased risk for hypothermia.
If you are at a race be sure to have a change of dry clothing on hand at the end or if you are heading home be sure to hop out of your wet clothes and into the shower to get back to your normal body temperature.
5. Carry Extra Socks With You - If you are running a race while it is raining a dry pair of socks can be your saving grace. Having your feet soaking wet is not only uncomfortable and weighs you down but makes blistering much easier. This is especially true when you begin a race while it is raining and it stops during. Believe me a quick few minute stop is well worth it to switch out for dry socks!
6. Use a Garbage Bag - If you don’t have anything to help keep you dry a quick fix for this can be a garbage bag with arm and head holes cut into it. Not only will this help keep you dry but will also help protect you from the wind.
While the downside is looking a little ridiculous and potentially covering up your high visibility clothing to be seen, it is a great cheap alternative. Use it in the beginning of your run to stay warm and dry; if it stops raining and you warm up it is easy enough to rip off and discard it.
7. Don’t Run During Thunderstorms - Running while it is raining is perfectly safe but not during a thunderstorm. If there is lightning in the sky it is better to just stay inside and either take a break or hit the treadmill. If a thunderstorm is good enough reason for professional sports teams to cancel events than it is a good enough reason for you to stay indoors.
8. Things to Avoid - Jumping in puddles is great fun but not so much when you are running. What may seem like a small splash through the water can turn into a shoe dunk and potential injury. It is impossible to tell how deep a puddle can go and getting your leg caught it one could be disastrous. So if possible avoid at all costs and save yourself the trouble.
I would also recommend avoiding running on any piles of leaves or the reflective lines on the road. Both can be extremely slippery when wet and can cause you to spill.
9. Dry Out Your Shoes - Once your run is over be sure to dry your shoes out well. An easy way to do this is by stuffing your shoes with crumpled balls of newspaper. This will help the shoes keep their shape and dry them out. Putting them into a dryer or in front of a heater can cause them to shrink or warp causing them to not fit properly anymore.
Run Like a Badass
Like any run the hardest part is just getting out and doing it. Once you start and get into the flow it will be like any other day except you will feel way more badass! Pushing yourself to do the uncomfortable will build your mental toughness and you will come to realize that you can face any challenge that comes your way. Cheers!