With Autumn just around the corner… well not really… but it seems to have been a bit of a wet Summer (and I got drenched last night on a run), I wanted to get some thoughts together on running in the rain and why I really like it. Some people hate the thought of running in the rain… ‘my iphone will get wet and I can’t run without music’, ‘I don’t want to get soaked through’. Rubbish I say!!
I absolutely LOVE running in the rain! My favourite time of the year to run is October just before the clocks change, when it’s wet and windy and horrible outside. It’s still light at most times I want to run, and the rain and wind batter you to refresh you.
I find that running in the rain is a challenge, revitalising and helps you to push yourself that little bit harder than you normally would. I think it also makes the runs on normal nice days, seem a lot easier.
Here are some reasons why I think you SHOULD run in the rain:
- You run faster – I almost always run faster when it’s raining, probably because I can’t wait to get back home and get out of the pi**ing rain!! You run faster to get out of the rain, and to stay warm.
- It makes you tough – After you’ve run in heavy rain, doing a run in nice weather is a piece of cake. It prepares you mentally to keep going when things get tough and when you’re running along in the sunshine you can think back to your run in the rain and know you can keep on running.
- Nobody else is out there – Running in rain is great as there are no midges, less dogs, less neds, and more moisture to inhale. The only risk is possibly getting soaked by a passing car, but that can be refreshing too!! (dirty puddles – yuk!) You just need to keep your wits about you when you are running past cars and puddles!
- You can run through puddles – It’s probably best to wear an old pair of trainers on rainy runs, just so that you can confidently run through puddles without worrying about wrecking your shiny new trainers. If you can learn to run through puddles without stopping, jumping or crying… you are a real runner. 😉
- People think you are crazy – (people already think I am crazy) – Drivers pass you and think – what the hell is she doing out there in this weather? Ha ha – they should try it!
- You won’t get heat exhaustion – It is way harder to run in the heat than during cooler temperatures and the rain will help you keep cool too.
- You don’t ever cheat and try to walk – Following on from ‘running faster in the rain to get home’… if it’s chucking it down and you are running in it, you are probably less tempted to walk as you’ll get even more soaked.
- The heat or sun won’t bother you – Heat when you run can make running a struggle… you don’t need to worry about that in the rain. The rain will cool you down.
- It’s refreshing – It’s coming to that time of year when it’s going to start raining more in the West coast of Scotland. Running in the rain can be very refreshing – and the shower afterwards feels really good!
- It’s fun – Don’t we all wish we could go back to when we were kids and would run and jump in puddles like there was no tomorrow? Go on… do it!!
And here are some tips on how to make running in the rain successful:
- Don’t wear too many clothes – Depending on the temperature outside, don’t wear too many clothes. This is one the biggest mistakes runners make when heading out for a rainy run. Wearing more layers will not keep you dry. Unless you’re running with an umbrella over your head, you will definitely get wet. If you have tons of layers on, you will just be wearing more wet, heavy clothes. Dress for the temperature, as if it were a dry day.
- Shorts will do for your legs as they’ll be going pretty fast to keep you warm. You want to avoid trousers or ¾ lengths if you can as they will just soak up the rain. Avoid cotton as it soaks up water, best to stick with technical tshirts/synthetic materials.
- Wear one layer underneath a windproof, shower proof or water proof jacket. This will help keep your torso dry and trap in any heat if you do start to get cold from the elements. Or your could ditch the waterproof and put a layer of baby oil on any skin which will be exposed, this will make the water run off your body.
- Wear a cap or buff to protect your head from the rain, and to stop water dripping into your eyes. If it gets too hot under you cap/buff, you can always take it off and put it in your pocket.
- Keep your eyes open and look out for cars – When you are running in the rain visibility can be poor, both for you and drivers driving towards or past you. To avoid getting splashed run on the inside of the pavement away from the roadside and keep your eyes open for large puddles and when the cars are likely to pass. It’s ok to stop and shelter to avoid getting splashed, but by the time you’re out there getting soaked, you might as well just keep going!
- Wear bright clothes – to make sure drivers can see you through the downpour: Select an outer layer that’s light-colored or has reflective strips, since running in the rain often means poor visibility: white, pink, yellow, reflective. Make sure people can see you. You can also get lights which attach to your clothing if you are running in the dark in the rain.
- Ditch the sleeves – Get a waterproof gilet (or a waterproof that has removable arms) then you won’t overheat but will have the benefit of some protection from the elements.
- Check the hourly weather forecast before you go out – so that you can decide what will be best to wear and what to expect when you go out there.
- Wear old trainers – so that you won’t be bothered about running through puddles and getting your feet wet or your shoes dirty.
- Protect your gadgets with plastic zip food bags – If you carry a mobile phone or listen to an ipod then put it inside something waterproof like a zip food bag or plastic bag in a pocket which is under layers (ie short pocket, under tshirt, under jacket) to protect it.
- Use a bin bag at the start of a race – If you have to wait outside in the rain before the start of a race, a big bin bag with armholes and a neck hole cut out can help you stay dry. You can take it off and throw it to the side once you get moving.
- Prevent chafing – If you’re running long, spread 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 – or plasters on nipples).
- Just Run! – The hardest part of running in the rain is often just getting started. Once you begin running and warm up, you may find that you actually enjoy it! And it’s good preparation in case you ever have to run a race in the rain. It builds character and makes the sunny run days seem much much easier!
- 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. Try not to dry them directly over a radiator if you can, but loosen off the laces and spread the tongue away from the show to let the air in to dry them out. (And have a spare pair for your next run incase the wet trainers aren’t dry in time for it!).
- Get warm after your run in the rain – Have a warm shower and / or put on dry clothes after a run in the rain. The shower will feel amazing, and warm clothes will make you feel good and heat your core bdy temperature up.