Running in the Rain

Posted: January 6, 2013 in Running

Never skip running in the rain because you don’t know what the weather is going to do on marathon day!  The last time it rained for the NYC Marathon was 1997.  Early November can bring any sort of weather extreme for this area!  Hot, Cold, Wet, Snow, Stormy… and yes DRY!  But the secret is to be ready no matter what the weather.


Running in the rain is really no different than running in dry weather — we are still putting one foot in front of the other!  But one thing to remember is that once you are wet, you are wet. It’s really not going to get much more uncomfortable.  If you are going to race in the rain… take the weather into consideration.  Here’s some advice that I’ve pick up and pass along to you. Lube up! Use Vaseline or Body Glide or other friction reducing topicals to avoid the extra friction burn that comes with wetness. Your risk of chafing can increase when running in the rain — especially if you are going out for a long run. Your shorts could start to ride up, allowing your thighs to rub together, for instance. So it’s a good idea to apply sports lube vulnerable places — even if you tend to not chafe. I read in Runners world that diaper ointment is better than Vaseline because it has a thicker viscosity and lasts longer. (Warning: they say diaper ointment turns your socks brown)  For guys, use the the ointment on nipples. Please, I hate seeing people bleed through their shirts — when your shirt is wet,  no matter what it’s made of, it becomes an abrasive material.  You can use Breath Right strips in wet weather instead of Band Aids.  Breathe Right Strips won’t fall off like Band Aids- they are made to stick to a sweaty nose.

Look out! Careful for slippery roads: white lines pained on roads are much more slippery than the basic black asphalt. Wear reflective gear! Steer clear of puddles which could be deep potholes!  Safety concerns are also multiplied in early morning and evening/night hours as drivers can not see as well.

Dress for a Mess:  The best piece of gear is a hat made of technical material with a brim. This will keep moisture off your head and face, which will make you feel more comfortable. Don’t wear a hat made of cotton, which will only get soggy and heavy.

Although your feet are going to get wet, you should make an effort to avoid puddles so that you can avoid getting your feet completely submerged and sloshy. If it rains on race day, try having someone meet you along the course and switch out your shoes for you BUT don’t depend on it (you may never find the person!)  Post run, place newspapers in your running shoes, they’ll absorb the water and help them retain the shape. You might need to replace the newspapers a couple of times. 

Don’t overdress. It might be tempting to throw on a running jacket over your shirt — this is good if it’s cold outside. But in mild temperatures, it can be easy to overheat that way.  It becomes important to make sure your clothing is wicking on days like this and most especially your socks. Rain will make you colder…. at 50 degrees and especially 40 degrees.  So wear a cap, hat, gloves, windbreaker vest or outerwear. If it’s very cold, it’s essential to dress in layers so that you keep the layer next to your skin dry to prevent hypothermia.

Post any comments and links to good wet weather running gear!!!  Thanks, Amy Freeze

By Amy Freeze

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