A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Running in the rain

on October 17, 2013

At the beginning of the week, it was really damp and chilly here in Omaha but I didn’t want to end up in the same position I was in last week, where I took my rest days early in the week and then had to get the rest of my workouts in without a day off. I decided to bite the bullet and get my 3.5 mile run in on Monday evening and headed out in the chilly rain. I could have gone the treadmill route at the gym, but who knows what the weather will be like in Florida in February for the Princess Half Marathon so I’d probably better try out some inclement weather running. It was in the 50s and raining fairly steadily, but not hard. I wore pants and a long sleeved tech shirt but no other gear specifically for the rain.

Overall, it really wasn’t bad! Once I got going, I wasn’t cold, except for my fingers, thanks to the body heat running itself was demonstrating. I thankfully was wearing contacts instead of glasses and the angle of the rain wasn’t pounding my face too much. I only stepped in one puddle, which would be first piece of advice with regards to running in the rain: watch your footing! Not only do you want to avoid puddles (because who wants to run in cold, wet socks & shoes? Ick!) but you also want to be careful of surfaces that may get slick when they’re wet. There was one spot on the sidewalk with some dirt from nearby construction and the resulting rain & mud caused me to skid a bit when I wasn’t paying attention. Grass might also be more slick in the rain and remember that the painted white lines can be slippery too. Puddle can hide potholes, so avoid them if you can. You also want to watch your footing to avoid squishing too many of these guys:


The worms were out in full force on all of our sidewalks enjoying the rain!

I turned my armband for phone so that it was up against my body and sheltered a bit from the rain. If I’d had pockets, I might have just stored it down in a pocket or run without music all together rather than risk getting my phone wet. I also kept my shirt sleeve down over my Garmin for the most part.

As I said, I wasn’t cold while I was running but I did not anticipate how cold I would get as soon as I stopped running. I finished my run and headed promptly off to daycare to pick up my son (11:15 minute miles, which means my pace really hasn’t changed much since I started doing 10 minute jog: 1 minute walk intervals with the switch to half marathon training). By the time I got to daycare, I was freezing! The damp clothes from the rain plus sweat and the chilly outside temperature really worked against me as my body cooled down after my workout. In hindsight, I should have changed clothes as soon as I finished my run.

How does this experience help me in planning for the Princess Half Marathon in February? I’ll definitely be watching the weather forecast and if there’s going to be rain, I’ll plan on :

a) Having a pair of dry socks in my pockets or with my husband somewhere along the course, so I can stop & change if my feet get wet. I’d hate having to run in cold, wet socks given both the discomfort and the increased risk of blisters/rubbing.

b) Having warm, dry clothes at the finish line so that I can change as soon as I finish. This is probably a good idea all around, but definitely important if it is going to be wet.

c) Have a back up plan for my phone which will likely include sticking it down in a plastic baggie before putting it in my arm band or pocket. I can’t imagine going completely without it for pictures and updating my family, even if I did want to trust Disney enough to entertain me along the way.

d) Bring a poncho/garbage bag for waiting in the corrals: I know a big part of what made this rainy run bearable was the fact that I was in motion the whole time. I can’t imagine standing waiting in the cold rain for who knows how long before your corral is sent off!  Some kind of rain protection that I can easily ditch when things get started would be nice. I’ve also seen where people have recommended plastic grocery bags tied around your shoes while you’re waiting to keep things as dry as possible.

e) Wear a hat or visor. For 3.5 miles, rain in my face wasn’t that bad. For 13.1 miles, that would get really annoying so something with a visor to keep some of the rain off of my face would be nice.

f) Be prepared for increased chafing when wet. I have a small container of Vaseline that fits easily in the pocket of my running skirt that I can and will bring with me if it with me it looks like rain for any spot treatment I may need. I’ll also be sure to coat myself thoroughly before I get dressed.

g) Gloves! My hands were freezing and gloves would have been really helpful. I think of them when it gets cold outside in the winter, but didn’t think about how cold my hands would get when wet.

If it was going to be cold and rain heavily, I’d consider a vented rain coat for the entire run. This can help keep your base layer dry and avoid hypothermia. I was already planning on wearing tech fabrics for the half marathon, but these tech fabrics can be especially helpful in the rain because cotton tends to get a lot heavier and hold onto more water in the rain. Maybe in the spirit of Murphy’s law, if I’m prepared for rain, it won’t rain on us for PHM? Positive thinking!

Also, while this isn’t relevant for the Princess Half Marathon, certainly keep in mind for any of your daily runs in the rain that cars can be an added risk in the rain. Both their visibility and their stopping ability can be adversely affected by rain and snow, so be especially watchful if you’re running in the streets.

How do you handle running in the rain?

After this experience, I can see where running in the rain would be pleasant if it were a little warmer outside. In just a few weeks, I’m sure I’ll be able to tell you all about running in the snow as well thanks to our lovely Nebraska weather. I did do that a little last year, but not much and not well. I’m going to be better prepared this year!

Resources I found helpful in thinking about running in the rain:

Another Mother Runner Radio 42: Don’t Let the Weather Get You Down

NY Daily News Expert Tips for Running in the Rain (really practical advice!)
Runners World What to Wear Calculator (suggestions based on wind, rain, temperature, etc)

3 responses to “Running in the rain

  1. I love running in the rain! I admit though that it’s usually a warm weather rainy run, I have not run in chilly rain.

  2. […] mile run – Monday evening was my first run in the rain, which was really chilly but otherwise nice. I’ve been doing intervals with 10 minute jogs […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: