It is a bright and sunny day, not too hot nor too cold, just as the weatherman had predicted. Indeed, this is the perfect weather for a routine run. However, just as you are about to step out of the house, it starts to drizzle.
Well, with the effects of climate change taking a toll, predicting the weather has turned into a game of sorts. One moment everything is looking up, the next moment it’s all cloudy and gloomy.
Apparently, even the most experienced forecasters are having a hard time delivering accurate predictions. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that your plans and efforts have come to halt due to bad weather.
Nevertheless, make no mistake about it. Running in the rain is very much possible! With the right gear and nohow, you can still enjoy a good run in the rain.
Through this comprehensive guide, we are going to show you how to run safely in the rain. The guide provides great tips and insights on how to stay dry and safe, even when running in the rain. Keep reading to find out more!
What Should You Wear When Running In The Rain?
There are so many reasons why you should strive to stay dry when running in the rain. Firstly, running with wet clothes is cumbersome, given that your gear becomes heavier as it soaks up water. Secondly, wearing wet clothes increases the likelihood of becoming sick since cold temperatures weaken the immune system.
Nevertheless, it is almost impossible to stay completely dry when running in the rain. After all, there is no difference between a rainy run and a trip to the water park. In both scenarios, you are going to get wet, no matter how hard you try. However, with the right gear, you can enjoy your run and keep rainwater at bay. Here is a list of what to wear when running in the rain.
Waterproof running shoes
Ideally, your running shoes should consist of breathable fabrics, and a GORE-TEX upper with mesh vents to boost airflow and prevent your feet from getting wet. Wearing shoes made from natural fibers such as cotton will not only get your feet wet but also weigh you down.
If your feet are wet, the chances of blistering rise significantly. The good news is that most running shoe manufacturers have waterproof versions available at reasonable prices.
Apart from shoes, your clothing should also be water-resistant. Moreover, your running garments should be made of wicking materials to pull moisture away from the skin, thus preventing the risk of chafing and blisters.
Water-resistant cap with a bill
Running in the rain with an umbrella is simply an outrageous idea. The surest way of keeping the rain away from your head is to wear a water-resistant cap with a bill. The cap protects your hair while the bill keeps the rain off your face when running.
Water-resistant belt to carry a phone and ID
Communication doesn’t have to stop even when running in the rain. An urgent situation may occur, requiring you to call emergency numbers asking for help. With this in mind, it is essential to invest in a water-resistant belt that can carry your phone and ID safely. The belt may also come in handy for storing your iPod if you enjoy running while listening to music.
Reflective straps, vest or fluorescent clothing
Drizzles and heavy downpours often lead to poor visibility, consequently increasing the likelihood of accidents. To be on the safe side, you are advised to wear bright-colored clothing and reflective running gear, to improve the visibility of other road users.
Tips On How to Run in the Rain and Not Get Sick
According to various hypotheses, running in the rain can make you sick. Notably, the dropping temperatures can weaken your immune system, making you susceptible to various ailments such as common colds and coughs. In addition, as rainwater hits the ground, it elevates bacteria and viruses into the air, hence increasing the likelihood of getting sick.
The good news is that there is no conclusive evidence that running in the rain can make you sick. However, it is always a wise idea to take precautions. Here are a few tips on how to run in the rain and not get sick.
#1 Wear proper clothing
Always wear waterproof and windproof clothing to stay dry and keep your body temperature normal on cold, rainy runs. Avoid cotton fabrics at all costs, as they are likely to soak up water. Instead, wear light, water-resistant apparel in layers to keep out the rain and cold.
#2 Wear a wicking shirt under your water-resistant clothing
While wearing water-resistant clothing will protect you from the rain, it will not prevent moisture buildup. Considering this, you are advised to wear a wicking shirt or apparel to pull moisture away from your skin. This will help prevent chafing and blisters.
#3 Protect yourself from the cold
Wearing waterproof clothing when running in the rain is not enough. You also need to protect yourself from the cold. Ideally, your jacket should have a comfortable lining that keeps you warm and enhances breathability. Alternatively, you may wear a light tee shirt underneath your jacket to stay warm and dry.
How to Run in the Rain Safely
Running in the rain can be fun and enjoyable, but only if you go the extra mile to take care of yourself. The slippery conditions, not to mention the poor visibility, can all work against you, leading to accidents and injuries. However, with proper precautions, you can avoid the potential risks and enjoy your run. Here are a few tips on how to run in the rain safely.
#1 Do not wear headphones
If you love running with music, make sure you keep the volume as low as possible so that you may hear your surroundings. Wearing headphones can be a distraction, hence you are advised to avoid them at all cost!
#2 Protect your electronics from rainwater
Ideally, you should leave your electronics, including your iPhone and iPod at home. However, if you really have to carry them, stash them in a waterproof phone belt for runners or inside the pocket of your waterproof jacket to prevent damage and reduce the risk of electric shock.
#3 Increase your visibility
Wear bright-colored or fluorescent apparel with reflective straps to make yourself more visible on the roads. This will reduce the possibility of accidents significantly.
#4 Never run during thunderstorms
The weather can escalate quickly, from light rain to thunderstorms, in the blink of an eye. When this occurs, it is best to stay at home to avoid lightning strikes.
#5 Avoid slippery surfaces
Always watch your step when running in the rain, given that the road or path will always be slippery. Considering this, you should take small, measured steps to prevent you from slipping and injuring yourself.
#6 Stay away from roads and traffic
Consider running on designated paths and roads to avoid accidents. This is because drivers and other road users may not anticipate the presence of runners out on the streets during a rainy day, and this may lead to traffic accidents.
#7 Always stretch before and after a run
Stretching can go a long way to prepare your muscles before a run and keep your body warm after running in cold conditions. In effect, stretching will reduce muscle tension and soreness associated with running, particularly in harsh weather conditions.
So What Are The Benefits of Running in the Rain?
Running in the rain offers so many benefits. Apart from building mental toughness, it also enhances body endurance. Moreover, it could help you run faster for longer, further improving your overall performance. Here are additional benefits of running in the rain.
#1 It helps relieve stress
Nothing is as relieving and as relaxing as the sound of rain. Running in the rain can help keep your mind away from negative thoughts as you enjoy the splash and sound of the downpour.
#2 Works more muscles
Running in the rain requires you to calculate your steps carefully to prevent slipping. This essentially conditions your legs and works more muscles as you maneuver the slippery surfaces and wet ground.
#3 Helps with weight management
If you are planning to lose weight faster, consider running in the rain. Running in the rain increases metabolic rate, given that your body has to work extra hard to stay warm. This helps in burning more calories, thus shedding excess fat.
#4 It helps boost your confidence
Running alone in the rain can significantly boost your confidence and self-esteem. Knowing that you are the only soul splashing through the rainy miles and sloshing through the puddles, rather than folding indoors, gives you a great boost of confidence.
Final Thoughts: Now, here’s the point…
Running in the rain will never make you sick. As long as you stick to the basics and take the necessary precautions, you can enjoy a splendid rainy run and meet your fitness targets. The hardest part is starting the run, but once you have taken a few steps, you will certainly enjoy the rest of the experience. Sounds good, right?
With over 30 years of experience in strength training and fitness, Mark LaRue is the founder of Fitness Mastered, a blog to help educate fitness enthusiasts of all fitness levels, age, and gender. We write topics that range from weight training tips and exercise routines to home workout machine and fitness related product reviews, to name a few.