11 Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Rainy Day Runs

I don’t know about you, but there aren’t many things I love more than running on a mild, sunny afternoon. Unfortunately, I live in the Northeast and sometimes that kind of weather just isn’t in the cards, and it seems like the second the clouds break open and rain pours down, my motivation goes down with it. But, sometimes you’ve just got to go out in the rain and get the job done.

In these moments, you want to make sure that you’re keeping yourself safe and comfortable in the event of inclement weather. The less discomfort and worry you feel, the better your workout will be. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best tips and ideas for making your rainy-day runs go as smoothly as possible.

  • Avoid loose, easily soaked materials like cotton and polyester that take on water easily. Instead, opt for lightweight, fitted, and water resistant materials. Select a lightweight, water resistant jacket as your outer layer, especially on days when it’s a little chillier. That way you can keep the warmer layers underneath dry and keep yourself from getting too cold as well.
  • When it’s raining outside, less is definitely more. Even if you’re wearing water-resistant materials, you’ll probably wind up getting a little bit soaked while you’re out there which can leave you feeling weighed down and heavy. Keep your layers light to make your workout as easy as possible.
  • Use a waterproofing spray like Scotchgard or Kiwi Camp on your shoes to make them water repellant. These sprays make it so water won’t soak into your shoes and will roll off of them with ease, which means you’ll be less uncomfortable, lighter on your feet, and avoid getting water-related blisters.
  • Find an anti-chafing cream or gel. You’d think wet weather would help in the chafing department, but actually it can make things much worse because it creates extra friction. If you have spots that are prone to chafing or blisters, like your underarms, feet, and thighs, consider using a little anti-chafing cream on rainy days.
  • Grab a hat or visor. One of the most frustrating things about running in the rain is that it makes it difficult to see what’s ahead of you. A hat with a brim will keep your face dry and offer you improved visibility.
  • Make sure you’re visible. Drivers always present a danger when it comes to running, but they have significantly reduced visibility when they’re traveling in the rain. That means you need to make yourself even more visible than normal. Consider wearing reflective gear and avoid dark clothing.
  • Avoid slippery spots while you run. Painted lines on the road, crosswalks, and grates can all be extra slippery on days when it’s raining so be sure to keep an eye out for these things and run around them if you can.
  • Think about your stride and your speed. Of course we all want to be operating at 100 percent on our runs when we can, but you may want to consider using a shorter, lighter stride or even just slowing your pace down a bit in order to avoid slipping while you run.
  • Choose the right route. Rain can cause grass or trails to be much more difficult or even dangerous to run on and it can make steep downhills more treacherous than usual. Pick a route that will keep you the most visible and won’t cause you to face terrain that might not be safe for you to cover.
  • Embrace it! Positive thinking is a runner’s best friend, so try to adjust your mindset to enjoy running in the rain instead of just getting through it. The more positively you’re able to think, the less focused you’ll be on the unpleasantness of the weather and all those other things that can bog you down while you’re running.
  • Give yourself a mission or an incentive. Personally, when I’m having a rough time getting out the door, I try to go on a run with a purpose like taking care of an errand I’ve been putting off or rewarding myself with a coffee at the end of my route. Choose a task to take care of or a treat to give yourself to make getting out the door on rainy days a little bit easier.

Running in the rain isn’t always ideal, but with a little forethought and some positive thinking, you can have a great workout in just about any weather. We hope you’ll keep these tips in mind to make the most out of your next rainy-weather run.

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