Confession: I love running in the rain, but if it’s already raining before I start, I have a hard time starting a run in the rain. In fact, I’ve been known to totally wuss out on a run if it’s raining out, despite having some of my best races be in the pouring rain. Luckily, on Wednesday night, we were already running when the downpour hit. And on Thursday, when I woke up at 4:45am (yes, I woke up crazy early to run), I was glad I had a friend waiting on me or I might have just rolled over and gone back to sleep. But after 5 miles of hills in the rain, I was super happy I got up. There’s just something fun and badass about running in the pouring rain. (And you never know when you’ll end up racing in the pouring rain.)
Put anti-chafe product everywhere.
Yes, I do mean everywhere. If parts are touching, lube them up. Don’t forget your feet. (I’ve also heard the suggestion of duct taping your shoes to keep your feet dry longer, but I’ve found that as long as I have plenty of Glide between my toes and around my feet, I’m fine.)
The grey, dark, and wet feel may make you want to wear more clothes than the temp requires. Or you might be inclined to wear a waterproof jacket. Just say no to both of these. If it’s warm out, you’ll overheat. Even if it’s a little bit cool out, wearing a waterproof jacket just means you end up soaked from your own sweat instead of the rain. If it’s below 60, I might wear a light weight windbreaker to hold some heat in, but I’m always prepared to end up with it tied around my waste. If it is chilly, make sure you have a plan for getting dry immediately. It doesn’t take long to catch a chill when you are soaking wet.
Wear a hat or visor.
The worst part about running in the rain is the water in your eyes. OK, sometimes the wind sucks too, but wind and water in your eyes is awful. So put on that hat or visor and make it so you can actually see where you are running. While you are at it, control your hair. Put it in the hat, braid it, put it in a bun. Do something besides a pony tail. Know what happens when you have a ponytail swinging around in the rain? Snarls of a type you could spend hours fixing. (If you do get caught out, I highly recommend either Suave children’s detangling spray or a big handful of conditioner in your hair before you shower. Detangling spray was life changing for me after the Richmond half marathon a few years ago, but conditioner before you shampoo will go along ways towards loosening the knots.)
Don’t forget to hydrate.
Yes, it’s raining and you are soaked, but unless it’s crazy cold out, you are also sweating. You just may not realize it. Hydrate like you would for that temperature on a dry day.
Channel your inner child.
Have fun! Running in the rain can be a blast. So jump in those puddles, skip as you run, float a stick down the stream on your path. Because, honestly, you aren’t going to melt.
Two rainy runs in two days was not my plan this week, but I’ll take a 70 something degree pouring rain run over 90+ with matching humidity ANY day.