I used to check the weather before my training runs, and if rain was predicted — I would dread it. Sometimes I would run on the treadmill instead to avoid a miserable wet run. Or I would move my run to a different day, one with a better forecast. Then race day would come and I would panic about the weather if it wasn’t *perfect* because I didn’t have experience dealing with it.
This past year all of that changed for me. I wanted to become a better runner and if I was committed to doing that, I knew I needed to toughen up and face the weather — WHATEVER it was (unless it was ice, I draw the line at ICE). It would make me more prepared for what might come my way on Race Day.
After many runs in the rain and the cold, and in the heat and the humidity – I am no longer afraid to run in the rain – I actually love it. I am not afraid to run in the cold – I MUCH prefer it over the heat. I have faced strong winds and fought against them – I don’t love running into the wind, but I am getting better at it. Rainy runs build character – and they make us stronger and tougher. If we wake up on race day and it is raining and cold, we can rest assured that we know how to handle it – because we already have. We’ve been there, done that.
|rainy runs make me happy|
I’ve figured out how to make my rainy runs and races as comfortable as possible for myself – even enjoyable. I never regret getting myself out there, once it’s done. I feel more accomplished than ever when I make it through tough conditions like that.
Here are some tips for a rainy run or race:
* Keep the rain out of your eyes. Wear a hat with a brim, and maybe even also sunglasses. Doing this will help you see better because the rain will be off your face, and it will also keep you from tensing your facial muscles because you won’t be squinting to keep the rain out of your eyes.
* Lube up! Body Glide is your friend for any run, and especially for a wet one. Wet socks create friction, which means more likelihood for blisters.
* Stay dry until you start. If you can get under shelter before you start running, DO. You don’t want to begin the run or race already soaking wet if you can help it. If you have to stand in the rain before running, wear something disposable and waterproof beforehand and take it off right before you start running. A large trash bag works. Or, if you have an old rain coat you don’t need anymore, wear it to the Start and then toss it. Most races collect discarded clothing and donate it to charity.
* Wear the right clothes. Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you are going to be freezing necessarily. You can still overdress and get hot in the rain! A waterproof jacket is helpful for training runs and track workouts in the rain. Wear layers and dress for the temperature.
* Plan ahead for the end of your run. Have dry, warm clothes and a towel ready for yourself at the finish or in your car. A dry top, bottoms and socks and shoes will ALL come in handy. When you get home, take the liners out of your shoes to let them dry out. If it’s a chilly day, light a fire in the fireplace and set your shoes by the fire to dry out as you sip hot cocoa or a delicious latte for recovery!
* Bring your buddies with you if you can. It’s always more fun and more motivating to face weather like that with your buddies. There are times when I know that if it weren’t for them, I may not have made it to the track on a week night or out my front door before sunrise in weather like that.
* Prepare yourself mentally and REMEMBER– it could ALWAYS be worse! Cool, wet weather is leaps and bounds better than a heat wave like what everyone experienced in Boston last week. You will not overheat in the cool rain. Find the bright side. If nothing else, this run or race will make you STRONGER.
* If it is really dumping down, change your expectations of your performance. There will always be other races and opportunities to run a faster time. Be PROUD of yourself for getting out there and running – especially in those conditions! Most people probably woke up that day, looked outside and decided to sleep in. Running on a rainy day takes GUTS and toughens you up. If it isn’t the day for your fastest race, then think of it as solid training. There is always something to be gained from every running experience, and SUCCESS doesn’t always show up on the time on the clock. Strength can be measured in a multitude of ways.
|it’s raining it’s pouring and this mama’s running|
On that note, I have a 10 mile run planned for tomorrow morning at 5:30 and there is a 70% chance of rain! Team Honey Badger doesn’t care about that, though – so I’ve already laid out my clothes for the morning and will be getting it done in the rain. Believe it or not, I’m really looking forward to it. Rainy runs have a way of making me happy!
What about you – do you like running in the rain? What tips would you add to this list?