Running When The Rain Won’t Quit


Tuesday I ran in the rain. Wednesday I paid my $7 to run inside on a treadmill. Thursday looked to be a lot worse than Friday, so I switched my rest day and ran in the mud puddles on Friday. Saturday I hit a clearing and made it for 5 miles before the skies let loose again.

Maybe you live on the east or west side of the USA, but I live closer to the middle where the rain just won’t stop.

One of the questions runners often hear is, “What do you do when it rains?” My answer has always been, “I run.”

Running in the rain isn’t all bad. Races don’t get called off because of rain so it’s smart to have experienced it beforehand. And in the summer, I’m wet anyway – at least the rain makes it cooler.

There are several things you can do to make the experience more pleasant though.

1. Wear a baseball cap or visor to keep the rain out of your eyes. I always wear a cap when I run. I turn it around backwards if the weather is nice and no one can tell how awful my hair might be underneath. But, then it’s there if I get caught in the rain or if the sun is unusually brutal.

2. Wear shorts. You might think you don’t want your legs to be wet, but that’s better than soggy pants. A few minutes into the run, you’ll hardly even notice your legs are wet. If its cold, wear tights.

3. Lightweight rain jackets are great in cool weather since they will keep your base layers dry, your body warm without adding too much weight and they usually have reflective stripes. The sleeves zip out of one of mine making it into a vest, which helps if it’s a warmer day.

During a summer rain, I don’t wear a jacket at all since it tends to make me too warm. (You can still get dehydrated even though its raining.) A sleeveless tank, singlet or wicking shirt that’s not too baggy is most comfortable in a warm rain.

4. Remember, it’s harder for drivers to see you in the rain and they’re not expecting a runner on a wet day anyway. Be more alert if you run on the road during a storm.

5. Your feet will get wet. Don’t worry about it. I like to wear thin socks so when they’re wet you hardly feel them at all. Just pull the insoles out of your shoes afterwards and be sure they’re dry before you wear them again.

All the rules we learned as children apply now – don’t run if there’s lightning and if there are gale force winds or the rain is so hard it hurts your skin, you might want to find a treadmill instead.

We’ve lost yet another tree this week – this time it fell in the middle of the flower garden. The dogs are going stir crazy, except for Mr. Boggs who has discovered sliding down the hill in the mud can be pretty fun.

The radar shows a break in the rain this morning before the clouds build into afternoon thunderstorms…again. I’m heading out early so maybe I’ll get my long run finished just in time.

Even though I don’t mind running in the rain, I’m ready for a little sunshine already.

Additional Reading:

How to run in the rain