It’s gorgeous and sunny here as I write this, but I know those tides are turning, and before we know it the liquid sunshine will be upon us. Here are my top tips for running in the rain and loving it (ok, maybe just not hating it).

  • Ditch the cotton and invest in some technical fabrics or wool. Technical fabrics in general are created to wick moisture away from the skin. Anyone who’s ever gotten wet in cotton knows that it doesn’t feel good. Not only will it be more prone to chafe, because the wet cold fabric sticks to your skin – you’ll be more likely to chill. It sounds funny but technical wool is actually fantastic for the wet climate. Even when wet it doesn’t feel cold and soggy. This tip is especially important for socks – wool running socks are my go-to for wet runs!
  • Choose the right footwear.  This is part personal preference and part which path you take. If you’re a road runner a waterproof shoe can go a long way to keeping your feet dry. If you’re a trail runner, I’d personally recommend skipping the waterproof shoes. If you’re running trails often you’ll more than likely come upon giant puddles you can’t always avoid – or small creeks or rivers you’re traversing. Consider that once the water is IN it needs a route OUT. Therefore, drainage may be more important for you! And if you know you’re going to get wet, circle back to my tip on socks! Good socks are worth the investment!
  • Layer it up! I recommend starting with a good base layer that will wick the sweat away from your skin and keep your core warm. Then depending on your climate you may want another layer for warmth (this also depends on how ‘hot’ you run)! From there it’s about the jacket for comfort.
  • Waterproof vs. Water resistant. This is a big question for wet weather runners. It depends on a number of things. waterproofing in garments has come a long way – but they still might not breathe as well as a water resistant one. For water resistant fabrics ask your retailer how the waterproofing is done – on the individual threads or as a treatment to the garment. On the threads will often be more effective. Also keep in mind reflectivity for safety in the early morning or at night!
  • Keep your hands warm. Have you ever noticed the elite runners at races who wear shorts, a singlet and gloves in the winter? Keeping your hands warm can go a long way to adding comfort. Just make sure they’re not cotton. A light technical glove goes a long way!
  • Get lit! Wear a light on your front, back and sides. In the rain (even if it’s not dark) cars may not see you. Be a defensive runner and don’t dress like a ninja (aka all in black).
  • Wear contacts? Wear a hat! I’m a contact lens wearer and there is pretty much nothing worse than rain in the eyes and irritated contacts. Hats rock in the rain (contact lenses or not).
  • Hit the trail! The coverage of the trees is a great way to dodge some bullets – plus you might really enjoy it. Just take a buddy and a map or Trail Forks (Map App)!
  • Commit. Suit up as best as you can, but also remember you’re not made of sugar. Approach the puddles like a kid. See it as an adventure. Envision yourself like some superhero dodging rain drops. Bringing the fun is all about the attitude you bring to the activity. If you groan and complain and dread it – guess what? It won’t be fun. You get to choose to bring the fun.
  • Bring reinforcements! Sometimes the hardest step is the one out the door. So find a buddy to keep you accountable. Plus it absolutely ups the fun factor!

Most important? Remember that some run is better than none….and commit to at least 10 minutes. If at 10 minutes you want to turn around…give yourself permission to. No judgement. (protip: this little hack always works for me…and I’ve never YET turned around).

Happy Running!