Rainy Running Tips, Let’s Hear ‘Em!

All day long I grappled with whether or not I would go outside in the rain to run. Typically I run with my Fleet Feet pals on Tuesday nights, but when I looked at the hour-by-hour forecast on Weather.com the chance for rain increased with each passing hour. It was up to a 40% chance of rain by the time I was supposed to finish working and up to a 60% chance by the time my Fleet Feet run was supposed to happen. (And those numbers are HUGE for this area… most of the time the chance for rain is “Snowflake’s Chance in Hell”.)

I got some great tips from Terri over at Middle-of-the-Pack Girl about running in the rain:
– Wear a hat with a brim
– Keep the iPod under clothing layers
– short-sleeve or long-sleeve tech shirt under a jacket, depending on how much you heat up

But right when I finished work for the day, the rain started to fall… and it was falling hard! Thus I chickened out and hit my treadmill for 4.5 miles instead.

My reasoning is that there were some big puddles accumulating pretty quickly, so I didn’t want to have soaked shoes and feet. Plus, we rarely get rain in the desert. Without regular precipitation to wash it away, all the dust, motor oil, automotive fluids just build up on the road… so when we do get rain it gets kind of slick out there. AND when we get a little bit of wet weather, drivers become psychotic here. Not sure I trust being anywhere near them when they’re all that paranoid.

So the treadmill won out today.

But I’m still open to the idea of running in the rain… it has such a zen, peaceful sound to it.

Or perhaps I’m more open to the idea of running in a slight drizzle. (Let’s be honest here…)

But if I ever do venture out in the rain, I’d love to hear your tips on running in the rain!

What is your best advice for running in the rain?

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16 comments

  1. As a dyed in the wool, full blooded Oregonian, I can say that running in the rain is second nature. In fact, drizzly days are the best! A few things that can help – a baseball cap helps keep the water out of my eyes, and I try to wear as little clothing as possible. My Brooks jacket has a waterproof pocket which is great for the iPod – I’ll even have the jacket wrapped around my waist and the iPod still in the pocket. Smart wool socks are great – my feet get wet, but they quickly warm up and feel good. They even worked when we had slushy, melting snow on the ground. But more than anything, it’s all about attitude. Smell the rain, embrace it, sing in it if you have to – and it is amazing how much you can learn to love it!

    • Waterproof pocket! See, that’s another thing I need… I was concerned about getting my iPhone all wet!

      I suppose living in Oregon would make rain running pretty commonplace. Kind of like I get adapted to months and months of hot weather running. It’s all relative to where we live!

  2. I’m a fan of running in the rain, so I hope you can at least get a few opportunities in! So far, most of what I have to say is to second what Terri and Teri have said–those are great tips. For after the run, I always try to stuff newspaper into my shoes. This helps absorb the moisture in them and keeps them from getting stinky πŸ™‚

  3. I think running in the rain is mental more than anything (as I sit here trying to will myself to go out in the rain to run right now). The anticipation is usually worse than the reality. I do admit that a drizzle is much more pleasant. I don’t have any waterproof clothing. I went out the other day to find something, but really don’t want to spend a lot of money when it only rains here six times a year. Instead I bought some Scotch Guard and sprayed my windbreaker….we’ll see how that works.

    I think a key might be keeping runs in the rain relatively short. In a half hour or forty minutes, you won’t get soaked and cold.

    I am looking forward to seeing what others have to say.

  4. I actually don’t mind running in the rain, although NOT cold rain. I always wear a tech shirt and I also have shorts with a pocket for my shuffle. I don’t so much love running in a hat/visor and the rain doesn’t really bother me, although if it is raining hard enough I use a visor just for visibility purposes.

    Oh, and if I have to drive to where I am running, I always bring a change of clothes because wet drives home are not fun!

  5. I don’t know what its like there, but the rain here hasn’t been THAT cold. I beleive it was in the mid 50’s yesterday when it was raining. I can sometimes make the mistake of wearing too much clothing that just gets drenched and weighs me down. My best tip is to wear old shoes so you can have fun splashing in the puddles without worrying that you are ruining your good shoes. Also, I put my ipod in a ziplock baggie before I put it in my pocket. I love that thing too much to risk it getting zapped by the rain. You mentioned the peacefulness of running in the rain. I think I’d just skip the music and listen to sounds of the rain. Its so rare around here I like to take it all in!

  6. Don’t over dress! I usually wear my windbreaker ( sort of waterproof shell) It keeps some of the rain out but also keeps the heat in!
    As for the iPod – my latest running pants have an inside zipper pocket at the rear waistband. Keeps my player dry but not to assessable…

    PS. Teri, I live in Oregon too : )

  7. We got lots of rain here in Portland so the first thing I have to do is come into terms with the rain. After that I put on my running gear plus raincoat and waterproof gloves then head out the door. I think, the hardest part in going for a run in the rain is getting yourself out the door, but after a few strides, it’s invigorating!

  8. Jill – We seem to be on the same wavelength – I posted a few tips just the other day about training in the rain http://wp.me/pHGel-6v As a lot of your readers have said – as long as the wind isn’t howling, bring it on – I really enjoy running in the rain.

    Best from Austin, Joe

  9. I like running in the rain, but I always find it hard to start my run if it’s rainy. Once I’m out there, I’m happy. I wear a wind breaker to keep me dry, but everyone in awhile I don’t mind getting wet. It’s kind of cleansing!

  10. I don’t mind if it’s drizzly. Or if I’m already out running and it starts to pour, it can actually feel nice! But if it’s raining cats and dogs at the start, I’m unlikely to hit the pavement (unless it’s a race).

    I always wear a brimmed hat when it’s rainy. This fall/winter was particularly wet so I got a couple new waterproof jackets — one light and one heavier for colder weather. I put my ipod and/or phone in ziplock bags to keep them dry.

    I have a pair of trail-running shoes that I sometimes wear on wet days since they offer a little more protection, but there’s still no avoiding wet feet!

  11. I love the spring rains, especially if I’m headed into the Foothills! I agree with the tech shirt and waterproof jacket; those are essential pieces of gear. I don’t care too much about my legs, but I don’t want my core soaking wet and cold. If it’s cold out I’ll wear my Smartwool gloves, because they soak up a little water and still keep my hands warm. I always wear the Smartwool socks; again, they keep the tootsies warm even if they’re wet. And if I’m driving, I’ll bring a change of clothes in the car and a towel for the head.

  12. rain in the summer … maybe. rain in cooler temps, no! not for me anyway πŸ™‚ of course the summer ran usually = thunderstorm and i’m not down with risking my chances with lightning.

    if it’s anything more than i light drizzle i wimp out. i just know i will be unhappy getting soaked to the bone (and esp when it’s cold!). sometimes it’s rained on me as i was already out running but thankfully just a mini-shower where it rained for a bit and then passed.

    basically i hide from the rain, so i admire you wanting to go out in it!

  13. I guess my advice is to just get out there. Every time I’ve had to run in the rain (and I’ve done some 20-plus milers in downpours!) I discover that the thought of it is so much worse the the actual run. Give it a go!

  14. Hey Jill, I LOVE running in the rain. It makes you feel grateful for the days when you just have overcast skies. Here, I get snow, so I just layer up even more, but the tips remain the same. I put the iPod under my clothes, because I’ve been the idiot out there running in thunder and lightning (afterwards, someone told me that I the lightning could have been attracted to the metal in the ipod, thus, why I hide it under clothes…not a foolproof plan, I assure you. LOL). What I sometimes do is put the hood of my waterproof jacket up over my brimmed hat, and that helps to ensure water doesn’t run down my back in between the jacket and my shirt underneath.

    Oh, and to dry out the shoes afterward, nothing seems to work better than newspaper crumpled up and shoved inside. To make sure I don’t get pneumonia after such a run, if I’ve driven to the spot, I try to make sure I have dry clothes in the car to switch into, quickly!

    My last piece of advice is to just relish the excitement in the air in a rainstorm. Running in the rain can sometimes make me feel so much more alive. And, if you’re feeling miserable while out there, just think about how nice that steaming hot shower will feel afterward. πŸ™‚

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