You know those perfect running days when the temperature outside is just right, the wind is always at your back, you seemingly never tire, and small school children even wave to you and grace you with high-fives as you effortlessly glide past them?
Well, neither yesterday nor today could ever possibly be mistaken for one of those days. Why? Because it has rained for both days! Oh, the humanity!
Ok, ok…I admit that was all a bit overly dramatic. In all truthfulness, I typically enjoy running in the rain. Well, to a point at least and with certain stipulations. It clearly cannot be freezing cold rain (or downright freezing rain for that matter), it can’t be a “torrential” downpour if I’m planning on going any more than a handful of miles (significant added weight from becoming water-logged simply becomes tiresome at some point, as does not being able to see through the sheets of rain), and I tend to prefer my rain running to be done on the trails since there’s something pretty magical about running through the woods during a storm.
The above caveats aside, a nice jaunt in the rain can be refreshing, invigorating, and surprisingly enjoyable overall. However, like every runner out there, there are definitely days when I just don’t feel like lacing up in the best of weather, let alone on days when the skies above have opened up.
Thus, for your perusing pleasure, I’ve compiled my very non-professional tips on how to tackle a run in the rain:
The Real Tips:
- Just Do It! My apologies to Nike, but often the hardest part of a run in the rain (and really any run) is getting your butt off the couch and out the door. Hey, I know “Chopped” is amazing, but you and I both know that Food Network will be starting another marathon in about two hours. Chances are the run is going to be much more epic than you ever expected since you already have such low expectations given the fact that it’s raining and thus your brain is telling you it is doomed to be a horrible experience. With the bar set so low, how can reality not ultimately trump expectation? It’s like when I first saw “Semi-Pro”. I went in thinking that it was going to be an absolutely horrible movie, but it turned out to be a more than solid flick (at least in my mind) and one I’ve gone back to numerous times since then. “Everybody love everybody!”–that’s what it’s all about.
- Jump in a Puddle! You’re going to get wet, so you might as well embrace it and have a little fun!
- Act A Little Crazy When Non-Runners See You Chances are they already think you’re a bit off since you’re “one of those runners”, so why not give them a little ammunition as they pass you on your rainy run? Clap your hands, give them a big ol’ thumbs up, jump in a puddle right in front of them, yell to them in foreign or made up languages–whatever! Be creative and aim for looks of shock and bewilderment.
- Tell Yourself You’re Awesome When your rain-soaked run is in the books and you’ve changed into some dry gear and plopped back onto the couch to see which poor sap Freitag is hating on, give yourself a pat on the back for getting out there and getting it done!
The Even “Realer” Tips (aka Less Fun, More Practical?):
- Stay Away From Cotton I know it’s the fabric of our lives and all, but all it does in the rain is hold onto moisture and prevent you from dissipating excess heat. Dress in layers if need be with technical, moisture wicking fabric closest to the body. Also, don’t forget to wear some reflective gear if you’ve got it since chances are visibility isn’t that great in such inclement conditions.
- Lube it Up! If there’s a spot on your body that you feel may rub up against anything (clothing, other body parts, etc) during your run, apply a generous layer of lubricant of your choice. Aquaphor, BodyGlide, Vaseline–it’s all good! Remember: Nobody likes chafing.
- Stay Hydrated Obviously hydration is key during any run or aerobic activity, but it’s particularly important to keep an eye on your fluid intake during runs in the rain. The moisture in the air and falling on your body can sometimes make you feel less thirsty than you normally would while wearing a couple of layers of clothing can increase your perspiration rate and amount. That’s a bad combo for maintaining adequate hydration! So be sure to take in a reasonable amount of fluid (ie, a typical mouthful for you) at regular intervals even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Watch Your Step! This may seem obvious, but be wary of your footing and any turns around corners you may be making as traction will clearly be lacking on rain slicked surfaces. The last thing you need while running out in the rain is a rolled ankle…or worse!
Above all, take what the day gives you! If you don’t hit the pace or mileage you were hoping or scheduled for, don’t sweat it. You’ll get ’em tomorrow! Or whenever it stops raining…