One of the few downsides of the arrival of spring is that it usually brings plenty of rain along with it. While April showers may bring May flowers, they aren’t always conducive to helping us stick to our fitness plans. Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you have to abandon all hope of going outside for a run, however. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the situation and still continue training despite the weather.
Dress for the Conditions
If you’re going to be running in the rain, you’ll need to dress for the weather. That means donning a jacket that can help keep the rain out while also allowing for heat from your body to escape. Rain jackets have a tendency to trap sweat in and get very warm, which is fine if the temperature is cold. But as things warm up, you’ll definitely want a jacket that provides ample venting too, or you’ll quickly find yourself overheating.
Wear typical running gear under your jacket, including running shorts and a technical shirt that is quick drying and wicks sweat away from the body. You may also want to add compression shorts under your running shorts to help prevent chafing. When you introduce extra moisture into the mix, it can sometimes lead to those kinds of issues.
Finally, wear a hat with a brim on it. This will help keep the rain off of your face and out of your eyes, making it much easier to see where you’re going.
Keep Your Feet Happy
As is always the case when it comes to running, keeping your feet comfortable is important when setting out in the rain. Running shoes vary greatly in their ability to protect you from the elements, with some being completely waterproof whereas others allow moisture to pass through like a sieve. Ultimately, though, you’ll probably find that your socks play as big of a role in keeping your feet happy as your shoes do.
Ditch the cotton socks in favor of more technical fabrics, such as Drymax, which are designed for wicking away moisture and drying quickly. Although they’ll get just as soaked in the rain as other kinds of socks, they’ll help your feet remain more comfortable and won’t be as prone to causing blisters either. Another plus is that if the rain lets up, they’ll dry out relatively quickly, whereas cotton socks will stay soaked until you can peel them off after your run is complete.
Protect Your Electronics
Most of us run with our smartphones or a similar electronic device these days, and for good reason. Not only can they provide music or other things to listen to during our workout, but those gadgets can also help us to stay in communication with friends and family. Nothing kills personal electronics faster than water, however, which means you’ll need to keep your gadgets well protected from the rain. If your smartphone isn’t already waterproof, or if you’re not using a waterproof case, you can wrap it in a Ziplock bag or tuck it into a pocket of your waterproof jacket. That way it’ll stay safe and dry, even in the worst of conditions.
As already mentioned, wet clothes sticking to your skin can cause painful chafing. You can avoid this by applying some Body Glide or Vaseline to sensitive parts of the body, including the inner thighs, underarms, or nipples. This will help prevent your clothes from rubbing you raw while running, saving you from some undue pain in the process.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Just because water is falling from the sky all around you doesn’t mean that any is getting into your body. You’ll still need to hydrate during your longer runs, so be sure to carry some water with you.
Embrace the Weather
Sure, running in the rain isn’t the same as running on a nice sunny day, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too. Head out with a good attitude, and you might even find that you enjoy the experience. Remember, it’s just a little water. It may be an inconvenience, but it isn’t going to hurt you. And when you’ve completed your workout and returned home, the post-run shower will feel amazing. Chances are you’ll be glad that you actually faced the elements and still managed to finish your workout.