I’m convinced that I’m some sort of unlucky charm for rain on race day. Both of my spring Halfs this year were rainy. Thankfully only one of them was a complete downpour.
In all, I’ve run 4 of my 12 half marathons in the rain. I’ve killed an iPod. I learned the hard way that Sharpie runs when on a bib against a light colored tech tank and is rained on for 4 hours. I’ve learned how hard it is to fuel properly when you can’t tell if you’re sweating a ton. I’ve learned that there is rain and then there’s RAIN.
In all of those learnings, though, I’ve learned some good things to keep in mind when you want to run outside, and it’s raining.
- Ziploc bags are your friends. You can buy expensive protectors for your phone… Or you can just put it in a ziploc bag. The snack sized ones are perfectly sized, and you can still control it, because the heat from your fingers gets through. Just don’t plan to take many pictures. Not ideal for pictures.
- Dress in as little as possible. Wet clothes are heavy. Heavy clothes aren’t fun to run in. Unless it’s a cold rain, dress minimally. If it’s cold, you’ll warm up quickly so opt for something water resistant but thin and breathable. For women, a tank and shorts or a running skirt in lightweight, quick dry materials is best. I’m a big fan of the Under Armour Fly Fast Shorts. They also have a waterproof pocket to keep your stuff dry. For tanks, my go to for rainy runs is the Under Armour Fly-By Stretch Mesh Tank. I love the X-Ray color, because it’s obnoxiously bright yellow, which is perfect for rainy days. The mesh back is great to keep you cool on s hot rainy run.
- Wool is not just for winter. Merino wool socks are your best friend for rainy runs. They’ll wick water away from your feet and help avoid blisters.
- Glide on. If it’s rainy, chances for chafing increase, lube up. Lube up everything. Take no chances.
- Follow your hydration plan. Drink as much as you normally would. You’re still sweating. Drinking less could result in dehydration and cramping. It’s even less fun than it sounds.
- Enjoy it. Go tech naked. Remember what’s fun about running. Be a kid and have fun with it. Just be careful, rain can be slippery.
- Be safe. Be bright, light, and aware. Rain makes it more difficult for cars or bikers to see, so make it impossible for them not to see you. Wear or take ID with you (as always) just in case. And know that running on paths or roads in the rain means they’ll be a little slick with grime for the first few hours of rain. Trails can quickly wash out in heavy rains, so be prepared if trail running in the rain.
Running in the rain can change up a typical weekday run, or just remind you that it can be a lot of fun. But don’t forget to dry off and warm up quickly, and that you need to refuel as normal too!
Do you like to run in the rain?
Any tips I left off?
Favorite rain running gear?