When it comes to running outdoors, rain can be a barrier. Here’s the ultimate guide to running in the rain.
I’m going to share with you my best advice on how to prepare for showers, from the gear you’ll need to how to prevent slipping on wet concrete.
Sold on the benefits running in the rain has to offer?
Sweet. Now, let’s make sure you stay smart while doing so:
1. Know When To Quit
Running in the rain should pose no serious threat. However, if weather conditions take a turn to the worst, caution is the way to go.
Check the weather forecast before you venture out. This helps you make there won’t be any lightning or thunder during your run.
If there are lighting or insanely strong winds in your area, run another day or hop on a treadmill.
Better be safe than sorry!
2. Plan Your Routes
Another measure to help you stay safe in the rain is to run somewhere you’re familiar with. As a rule, avoid:
- Muddy terrains
- River crossing
- Flooded roads
- Washed out trails
- Puddles—as they might be deeper than they seem to be.
- And other slippery surfaces.
Not sure about the surfaces? Take some time to plan your route.
Pay attention to your footing, too – especially when it’s raining. Slippery surfaces are the enemy!
Rain makes everything slippery—from metal potholes covers, sidewalks to painted stripes and leaves on the ground.
The best way to stay safe on slippery surfaces, other than avoiding them altogether, is to take small steps and keep an eye on your footing as much as you’d when tackling technical trails.
3. Choose The Right Shoes
Before you brave the rain, make sure to check your shoes.
Extra traction typically means a shoe that has various points of contact with the ground.
Such shoes come with more grip instead of a flat, smooth surface.
I recommend waterproof trail shoes with a Gore-Tex lining upper fabric, which will help repel the water.
These work best when running in the rain.
But the shoe also has to be breathable—or else, your own sweat will cause wetness and chafing, leading to blisters and other nasty trouble.
4. Dress For The Rain
choose light and moisture-wicking layers to help you easily regulate your body temperature and stay comfortable.
Make sure your clothing is made of technical fabrics such as Coolmax or polypropylene, which repels sweat and water from your skin, keeping you relatively dry and comfortable.
These may include:
- A waterproof short, as well as compression shorts underneath to prevent chafing.
- A base layer, such as a long-sleeve shirt
- A waterproof outer layer, such as light wind- and water-resistant jacket or vest.
- Avoid waterproof jacket as it traps heat and moisture—a bad mix..Just keep in mind that running in the rain is like a trip to the water park. You’ll get wet, regardless of how hard you try not to.
Your sock choice is as important as choosing the right shoes and layers when running in the rain.
When you have the right pair, you help keep your feet comfortable as well as prevent blisters, which tend to be more common in wet conditions.
As a rule, when choosing running socks, look for:
- High-performance and moisture-repelling fabrics, which is key for preventing rubbing and blisters.
- Flat seams,
- Mesh ventilation under the arch
- A snug fit, so they don’t wrinkle inside of your running shoes
Again, whatever you do, avoid cotton socks—these do nothing but soak up moisture and set the stage for blisters—the ingredients of a miserable running experience.
To keep the rain out of your eyes, wear a hat with a brim.
That’s why a basketball hat can be your best ally during a rainy run.
When choosing a brimmed hat, remember to consider the temperature and other conditions.
When it’s cold, add a light headband or beanie for extra warmth.
In freezing cold, consider using fleecy winter caps to protect your face and especially ears from the unforgiving cold.
5. Stay Visible
Heavy rain hinders visibility, so do what you have to do to stay seen by drivers and pedestrians.
This is especially the case when you’re running early in the morning or late in the evening when drivers have poor visibility and are less likely to expect anyone to be on the road.
To stay visible, I’d recommend using neon running clothing or choosing bright colors such as orange, yellow, or pink.
Dress to be seen.
Choose outer layers that are light-colored and bright or have reflective strips.
This helps you stay better visible to oncoming traffic.
Dress like a Christmas tree if you have to.
6. Avoid Chafing
Chafing can plague any runner anytime, but it’s much more common—and a lot worse—when running under the rain.
In fact, chafing is much worse when you’re wet from the rain.
To prevent chafing during rainy runs, apply lubricants, such as Vaseline or Body Glide or Be Smooth, anywhere where’s there’s potential for chafing.
These include your underarms, feet, bra line, and inner thighs.
7. Protect Your Electronics
It’s not just your body that gets soaked from the rain—your phone and electronics are also in danger.
To keep them safe and functioning while running in the rain, use gear that has sealable, water-resistant pockets. I like Koala Clip (and this is not an affiliate link, but somebody tell them to sponsor the podcast!).
You can also put your phone in a sealable bag, then holding it in your hand.
As long as it stops water from reaching your phone, you’re good to go.
It doesn’t have to be fancy!
Or, to save all the hassle, leave your phone at home.
8. Change Out Immediately After A Run
The moment you finish your run and are back home, get out of your wet clothes and into dry ones immediately (of course, shower first).
Sure, you might feel warm after a run, but when you stay wet for a long time, you may increase your risk of catching a cold or cold-related illness.
This also helps your clothing stay smelling fresh and get the stink out!
To speed up the drying process for your shoes, remove the insoles, and stuff your shoes with paper towels or newspaper to help absorb the moisture.
This not only helps draw the moisture of the fabric but also keep their shape intact.
Change out the stuffing after a few hours, especially if your shoes were completely soaked.
Don’t put your running shoes in front of a heater or in a dryer. It can damage the fabric and compromise their shape, so they won’t fit you properly and damage the materials (especially the midsole, reducing its cushion properties).
The most challenging part of running in the rain is the first step. Once you get started and are out there, you may actually start to enjoy it.
Don’t let the rain put a pause on your running plan.
I’d love to hear what’s working for you. Drop me an audio note to tell me!
When I’m not recording the podcast, hanging on the beach with my Husband and four kids, I’m over here: