Summer is finally over and leaves behind sad faces. Sun? Wrong! Instead, nasty rain is our constant companion. Just like running in Milo Marathon last year. Registering for races occurs months in advanced. One of the unknowns when you register is what will the weather be like on race day. You hope for great conditions and most importantly you hope it does not rain. Still, you have no control over what race day will be like. Due to the unknown weather on race day, it is good to train in all types of conditions, including rain.
Rainy weather does not mean you have to take your workout inside to the treadmill. Here are some tips to help prepare you for running in the rain:
Check the weather before getting dressed
Checking the weather is always a good practice anytime you are going for a run. A rule of thumb is you should always dress as if it is 15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. So if the temperature is 60 degrees, you would want to dress for your run as if it is 75 degrees. The thought here is as you run you are going to warm up and you do not want to have too many layers on. Another reason to check on the weather is to see if there is any precipitation, such as rain. Look at the radar to see if there are thunderstorms in the area. You do not want to be out in thunder and lighting. If there is rain in the forecast, you might want to consider wearing a couple of layers. The layer you wear that is closest to your body is the most important. You want to wear a technical running shirt, like Dri-Fit or CoolMax. The reason is the material helps wick the water away from your skin. The outer layer should be a water-resistant type jacket. You do not want to wear anything waterproof as it will trap the moisture and heat in.
Wear a hat
You may always run wearing a hat or maybe you never run wearing a hat. If the weather is rainy, you will want to wear one. The simple reason is that it will keep the rain off of your face. It makes a huge difference.
Make sure you are visible
For your outer layer, you want to wear some clothing that is light-colored so people will be able to see you. Some gear even is reflective which helps when headlights shine on you so drivers are able to see you on the road. You know how difficult at times it is to see when driving a car in the rain. Imagine how much harder it is for a driver to see you running. If it is raining hard, you might want to consider running on a green way as opposed to a road.
If you’re running long, spread Body Glide or Vaseline on parts of your body where you would normally chafe or get blisters — such as your feet, inner thighs, underarms, sports bra lines (women), and nipples (men).
Wear Trail Shoes
When it rains heavily, the runner has to be prepared for big puddles and slippery surfaces. Not only the running shoes are soaked after a few meters, there is also a high risk of getting bad food blasters or catching a bad cold. This isn’t just painful, but also quite annoying. Therefore, trail shoes are recommended. They are made of a water-repellent material and keep your feet warm and dry. In addition, the slip-proof shoe sole protects from slipping. As well, athletes, who rarely run in the rain, have the possibility to drag some waterproof sock coatings on top to their normal running socks.
Protect the electronics you use
Many of us use electronics when we run. This may be an iPod, iPhone, GPS watch or more. When it is raining you want to try and protect your electronics. You can use a simple Ziploc bag or a water-proof belt.
Listen to your surroundings
Be extra careful around car traffic. Although the impulse is to rush the crosswalk, wait for the signal. Cars and drivers have a lot less control on wet roads. Listen for the warning sound of approaching cars spewing mud and hurry up onto the curb to avoid an icy mud bath.
Garbage Bag & Old Running Shoes
If you are running a race and it is supposed to rain, here are a couple of tips you can use while you wait for the race to start. You can take a garbage bag and cut out holes for your head and arms. Wear this until it is time for the race. It will help to keep you dry and warm. Then when it is time for the race, you can throw it away. Another tip is if you are in a race that has a bag check and you have a long wait until the race begins; you can wear an older pair of shoes to keep your racing shoes dry. Then before heading to the starting corrals, change your shoes and put the older shoes into the bag check.
Dry Out Your Shoes
When you get back from a wet run, take off your running shoes and stuff them with crumpled balls of newspaper. This helps the shoes keep their shape, and the paper draws moisture away from the shoes.
Change your wet clothes post-race.
You may feel warm when you first cross the finish line, but make sure you change out of your wet clothes quickly. When you’re wet, you’re at an increased risk for hypothermia, a lowering of your body temperature. Bring an extra set of clothes so you can change out of your wet race outfit after the race.
It may not seem like it, but running in the rain is a lot of fun. Once you warm up, you may actually enjoy it. As I mentioned in the beginning, you never know what to expect on race day regarding weather. If you train in all types of weather, you will be better prepared come race day if the conditions are not perfect allowing you to enjoy the day.
In the end, the decision of running in the rain is up to you. You want to make a logical decision before heading out the door and hopefully these tips will assist you in your decision making process.