Embrace the elements with these tips.
Races are rarely ever canceled for rain. Some runners love a good run in a torrential downpour while others prefer to avoid running when rain is in the forecast. If you are in the latter group, it is important to learn how to embrace the elements and be prepared for inclement weather on a run.
Below are some of our best tips for running in the rain so you are not completely miserable. Chances are, with adequate preparedness, you may wind up enjoying running in rain!
If you plan to run in shorts, you may want to throw some compression shorts underneath to prevent chafing. When your body is wet, the risks of chafing are heightened.
Clothes that fit closely may also help to keep you from getting overly wet. Loose-fitting clothes are more likely to make you feel soaked and heavy. A fitted shirt and spandex shorts are a great option for rain (which can also help to prevent chafing).
If the temperature is forecasted to be below 50 degrees, grab a wind shell made of nylon or other waterproof material. This top layer will benefit you if it rains when the temperatures are cool since rain can make you feel even colder. The shell will not keep you completely dry but it helps to hold in some body heat, keeping your core temperature up, thus decreasing any risk of hypothermia. The Brooks LSD Running Jacket is a great option.
Wear a visor or baseball cap to keep rain out of your eyes.
How Do Your Shoes Look?
Take a quick look at the bottom of your regular running shoes. If they look smooth on the bottom, you may want to grab a different pair. Smooth-soled shoes are apt to cause you to slip when running. Look for shoes that have grooves on the soles that are deeper than one millimeter. These grooves enable water to run through them, offering a better grip on the wet road.
To keep your feet warmer and drier, look for a pair of shoes that feature waterproof fabric.
If your shoes have mesh and you don’t have the time or a budget to buy new shoes, you can wear thinner socks, which may keep you from absorbing much water, which could make you feel soggy and weighed down.
Be Willing to Modify Your Run
Rain can slow you down. If it rains on your sprint intervals day or a day you want to beat your personal record, you may want to rearrange your schedule. Speed workouts and time goals are not well-suited for rainy days because the weather can reduce your speed. Rain can add as much as two minutes per mile to your total time. Rainy days can also increase your risk for injury for certain types of training. Pushing off and landing on a wet surface adds more demand to your connective tissues and muscles. Endurance training is better suited for rainy days, when you can embrace the resistance provided by all of that wetness.
Modify Your Stride
When running on a wet road, you can modify your stride to decrease your risk of wiping out. Instead, take quicker and shorter strides, which will reduce the amount of time your feet spend hitting the wet surface.
Remember, if it is storming (and especially if there is lightning in the sky), stay inside.