Tips for Running in the Rain

I know plenty of you are saying, “I don’t run in rain.”  The fact is there will be days when it rains.  Think of it this way … when do we, as adults, get to play in the rain with our friends?!?  We train in all types of weather in order to be prepared for whatever race day brings.  Better off knowing what it feels like and what to do in a practice run.

Our policy is training runs may be canceled if it’s lightning, or if the “Real Feel” is higher than 110 or below 0.

Here are some suggestions for running in the rain:

  • Wear a hat with a brim or a visor:  It will keep the rain off your face and help block the wind allowing you to see.
  • Lube upWhen you’re wet, things tend to chafe more.  Slather Vaseline, Body Glide, Aquaphor, or other anti-chafe cream on your feet before you put on your socks to help prevent blisters, and on any other body parts that may chafe (arms, nipples, legs, sports bra seam lines, etc.).
  • Jacket, Vest, or Trash Bag:  Wicking apparel is key—it pulls moisture away from your skin, which helps prevent chafing and blisters.  Tighter tops and bottoms are less likely to chafe.  Light-colored bras, tops, and bottoms become see-through when wet, so stick to darker colors in the rain.  If it’s also cold, throw on an outer layer.  This should be a wind and water-resistant jacket (a big trash bag can do the trick).  However, wearing more layers doesn’t mean you’ll stay dry; it may mean that you’ll be wearing unnecessary heavy and wet clothes.
  • Wicking Socks:  Wearing a pair of wicking socks can make all the difference in preventing blisters from developing.  Remember – cotton is rotten.
  • Eyewear:  In the 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.
  • Protect your electronicsStore your electronics, such as your cell phone, run-walk timer and car keys, in a Ziploc bag.
  • Be carefulWhile running, be extra careful and watch your footing.  Puddles may hide a pothole, and roads get slick when it’s wet.  Anything on the ground that’s painted or metal will be slick, so try to avoid them.
  • Bring a towel or change of clothing for your ride home.
  • Dry out your shoesWhen you get back from a wet run, take off your running shoes, loosen the laces, take out the insoles, and stuff them with crumpled balls of newspaper. This helps the shoes keep their shape, and the paper draws moisture away from the shoes.  Don’t put your wet shoes on direct heat!  The heat will dry out the materials in the shoes and mess with the shoe’s integrity.
  • Pat yourself on the back:  Running in the rain isn’t always fun, especially if it’s cold and windy.  Be proud of yourself that you ran against your normal element.

What to Wear While Running

The temps on the weather forecast won’t feel the same when you’re moving.  When dressing to run, the rule of thumb is to add 10 to 20 degrees to the outside temperature to calculate your running temperature.  Keep in mind that this number is dependent upon your body size, run pace, and the length of your run.  But you should also take the wind-chill factor into consideration.  When winds are present, look at the “feels like” temperature to determine what to wear.

Once you get moving, your body heats up fast.  And once you stop running, you’ll cool down very quickly, so be prepared to get out of those wet clothes immediately upon finishing your run.

Here’s an informal guide for getting dressed to run in any type of weather:

  • 60+ degrees: tank top or singlet and shorts (feels like 7080 degrees)
  • 50–59 degrees: short sleeve tech shirt and shorts (feels like 6079 degrees)
  • 40–49 degrees: long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, mittens or gloves (optional), headband to cover ears (optional) (feels like 5069 degrees)
  • 30–39 degrees: long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves, and headband to cover ears (feels like 4059 degrees)
  • 20–29 degrees: two shirts layered—a long sleeve tech shirt and a short sleeve tech shirt or, long sleeve shirt and jacket—tights, gloves, and headband or hat to cover ears (feels like 3049 degrees)
  • 10–19 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, gloves or mittens, headband or hat, and windbreaker jacket/pants (feels like 2039 degrees)
  • 0–9 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, windbreaker jacket/pants, mittens, headband or hat, ski mask to cover face (feels like 1029 degrees)