Dry conditions are usually favored in running, though it can be a welcome relief when it is warm outside. However, drenched clothes can be uncomfortable and when cold, wet moisture can cause body temperatures to drop quickly.
Though forecasts are still not 100% accurate, we at least live in an era that it is possible to be prepared for weather conditions during a training run or race.
If your next run involves rain, here are some tips to stay comfortable in the rain.
- Poncho — A disposable poncho is an essential item if you are headed to a race in the rain. Standing out in the a rainy starting corral can be uncomfortable even in a small race and can be a very long wait in a large race. You can even run a few miles (or more) in it before you are fully warmed up – though it is recommended to wear a rain jacket if you expect to need an outer layer most of the race.
- Shower cap — A disposable shower cap is a great way to keep your head and feet dry. Of course it looks silly, but you can stay comfortable longer while waiting for the gun to go off.
- Disposable grocery bags — They lack the elasticity of the shower cap, but are certainly much easier to find in a pinch. Use them to keep your feet dry prerace – just make sure you can remove them easily when it is go time.
During your run
- Hat with a bill — If it is cool outside, the extra layer on your head will help to keep you a bit warm as well as provide protection from the rain. A bill will help rain stay out of your eyes which can be extra irritating if it is coming down hard.
- Rain jacket — Yes, a rain jacket seems a bit obvious, but you must consider what kind of rain jacket you choose. A rain jacket for running must be breathable and made from materials that do not trap moisture inside. Unless it is just barely north of freezing, a water-resistant layer is preferred over a waterproof layer. Look for one that has adjustable or elastic openings to keep water from getting inside.
- Form-fitting clothes — Leave the baggy shorts at home when it rains. All the extra material will not only get heavier with rain, but can cause awful chafing. Opt for compression shorts and form-fitting shirts, tanks, etc.
- Thin socks — For the same reason that baggy clothes are a bad idea, thick socks are as well. Unless it is just very light rain, your feet will likely become soaked over the course of the run and thick socks will just suck up water. Thin socks made for running will likely bunch up less and dry quicker if the rain starts to let up.
- Latex gloves — If it is expected to be chilly and rainy, latex gloves over the top of regular gloves can help to keep hands warm and dry. They are inexpensive and disposable so if your hands start to get too warm, they can be easily tossed.
- Anti-chafe balm — Rain can add an extra element of friction to running. It can be difficult to know where hotspots might show up depending on how drenched you get so it is better to just go overboard with your favorite anti-chafe product.
After your run
- Be prepared — Having warm, dry clothes ready is essential if it is cooler outside. When your body temperature starts to drop after your heart rate goes down, it can be difficult to manage even mundane tasks like changing your clothes. Opt for things that can be easily put on and have a small towel in your bag to remove the excess moisture before changing.