Have you ever gotten hyped up to head out for a run, only to look outside and see the sky turning grey and the clouds rolling in?

So, you turn to the dreaded treadmill… or should I say dreadmill? 

Rain doesn’t mean you have to take your runs inside. If you’re preparing for a race, running in the rain is good because most races aren’t canceled due to rain. There are ways to make your runs in the rain safer and more comfortable.

Let’s face it…doing 5km in waterlogged clothes, soggy shoes & socks, and chafing, doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable time. 

What if we told you that running in the rain is good for you?

Why Running In The Rain Is Good For You

Running in the rain is a completely different experience — it’s something new, and it’s exciting. You have nothing to be afraid of…with a little preparedness, you’ll find that you may end up with a smile on your face at the sight of raindrops. 

Running In The Rain Could: 

Help You Run Faster

We all already know that running in cooler weather is easier than running in the heat. Did you know that you’re less likely to get dehydrated or to experience issues like muscle cramps and heatstroke? 

Think about it, when your body isn’t constantly trying to cool itself down, what is it doing?  

Answer: Focusing on performance. 

Help You Lose Weight

According to this study published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, regular exposure to mild cold may be a healthy and sustainable way to help people lose weight. 

This is because your body has to work harder to stay warm, so you end up increasing your metabolic rate after a period of adaptation, and therefore burning more fat during exercise.

Help You Deal With Adversity

Our daily lives aren’t always filled with rainbows and sunshine… 

Heading out for a run in the rain will challenge you to let go of the factors that you can’t control. You can apply that feeling to your daily life when you feel stressed and out of control. 

Help Boost Your Confidence. 

The power, the happiness of returning home after a rainy run boosts morale. – This feeling can’t be explained, only felt for yourself. 

Running in the rain releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body.

Help To Relieve Stress

Running in the rain is a serious head clearer. Running in a light gentle rain shower will make you feel like an absolute zen master. 

By taking in your surroundings and feeling the rain on your skin you’ll be sure to take your mind off of whatever it is that is causing you stress. 

Now that you know there are benefits to getting out there come rain or shine, it’s important to note that you should refrain from running in dangerous conditions like thunderstorms or hail storms. You should also avoid the HEAVY downpours as you could be putting yourself at a higher risk of injury. 

Running Safely In The Rain

  1. Don’t run in thunderstorms.
  2. Wear a hat with a brim to keep the rain off your face.
  3. Dress in layers. (Inner- technical fabric to keep water off your skin) (Outer- wind/water resistant)
  4. Dress for the temperature.
  5. Prevent chafing.
  6. Wear the right shoes. (Trail run- nonwaterproof) (Road run- waterproof)
  7. Wear bright colors to be visible.
  8. Watch your step.
  9. Warm-up properly, especially if it’s cold outside.

Warm-up properly by doing this before every run:

Once you begin running and warm up, you may find that you embrace your inner child and splash your way through the puddles, while feeling like a total badass. 

It’s worth mentioning that while there is much anecdotal evidence there are no hard facts proving that everyone will feel the same about running in the rain.

How to Embrace Your Inner Child & Enjoy Running In The Rain

Reduce Any Squelches With The Right Socks

Yes, those funky, multi-color socks that you bought in an 8 pack from your local go-to store are super affordable and comfortable… but this is the time to take out those heavy-duty, hardcore socks. 

You should look for a pair of socks with Merino wool, it is a fiber you can wear year-round because of its ability to regulate temperature, move moisture, and resist odors.

Avoid Cotton

Cotton absorbs water, which means that when you step out into the rain, your cotton pieces of clothing will hold onto the water, which will leave you feeling rather…soggy. 

We’ll dive into a bit more detail later on about the best types of clothing you should wear while running in the rain. 

You Are Going To Get Wet, Embrace It!

When it’s raining and you step outside, you ARE going to get wet.

Think of it this way…

“Running in the rain is exercise, therapy, and a shower… all at the same time.”

Enjoy it!

Wear a Cap, Always

Wearing a cap is a good idea whether it’s sunny or raining. Yes, the cap won’t keep your head dry, but it will keep some of the rain out of your eyes, making it easier to see. 

Waterproof Shoes – Not a Necessity.

If you’re heading out for a run on the road then a waterproof shoe will go a long way in keeping your feet dry but on a trail run you’re probably going to come upon big puddles and those might be unavoidable… which means you’ll allow the water in, with no escape route out. 

When running in the rain your risk of slipping and falling is increased, so be extra cautious with every step you take. 

Prevent Chafing

Anyone who has experienced any chafing in their running careers knows that it very well could be one of the most unfair and horrible experiences known to man!

You motivated yourself to lace up your running shoes and hit the road, only to receive a lovely reward at the end of it all… raw, burning flesh…. Fantastic. 

Apply Petroleum jelly products like Vaseline to areas where you are prone to chafing as well as where your socks end by your ankles, by your armpits, thighs, and groin. 

The hardest part of running in the rain is just stepping outside.

Once prepared there really isn’t much else for you to do other than to just jump out there and do it. 

Dressing For a Run In The Rain

You should dress in layers (based on the current temperature), the layers need to be light and moisture repellant to easily control your body temperature.

Layers:

One- Something to keep moisture off of your skin, such as a long sleeve shirt. 

Two- T-shirt

Three- A waterproof and wind-breaking jacket. 

It’s also a good idea to wear running shoes that have good traction to help prevent any slips and slides on the run. 

Running in the rain can make you a more resilient runner, just remember to remove any wet clothing as soon as you get home to prevent getting sick and avoid dangerous weather like thunder/lightning storms, hail, and gale-force winds. 

If you enjoyed this article, chances are quite high that you might enjoy this video where Brad and Lindsey chat about how climatic conditions, such as heat, cold, or humidity affect your training… check it out. 

Author

Devlin Eyden has a passion for seeing his athletes grow and excel. From novice runners or cyclists across all disciplines to elite mountain bikers representing South Africa at World Championships. In addition to helping you ride faster, for longer, Devlin also has the personal touch when it comes to your bike setup, aiming at improving the overall rider experience. With his background as a Sport Scientist as well as a Strength & Conditioning specialist, performance is Devlin’s main priority, be it in the gym, the lab or out on the road or trails. Being a keen runner & cyclist and having completed the Cape Epic among others, Devlin has first hand experience in what it take to reach your goals. If you’re looking for a once-off training program or ongoing, high touch support Devlin has you covered.

Comments are closed.