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Tips for being safe and comfortable when running in the rain

posted by
Cain Leathers

running in the rain

Cain Leathers
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Cain Leathers

1. Leave electronics at home

We’re all guilty of listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or music while on our runs, so this tip is the first, and the trickiest to follow. Leaving your electronics at home can be a great practice for race day, since some races don’t allow the use of headphones by runners on the course. Additionally, for safety reasons, running with fewer distractions is best because rain can drown out the sounds of cars passing by. So, consider turning off the tunes while you run or leaving your phone behind—you can always track your runs using a smartwatch like a Garmin, Sunnto, Polar, or even an old-fashioned watch.

2. Wear the right shoes

Running with soaking-wet feet can lead to painful blisters; to avoid this, wear shoes with the proper drainage. But if you’re not willing to invest in a new pair of shoes or would rather stick to the pair you’ve got, you can also treat your shoes with water-repellant spray or use trail-running shoes, which often have waterproof or water-resistant properties.

3. Wear the proper gear and be visible

Another thing to consider is picking the right apparel, like a running-specific rain jacket with moisture-wicking properties. Also, if you're prone to chaffing, use Body Glide or a similar anti-chafe product on the problematic areas prior to heading out. While running in the rain, visibility is key. Not only do you want to be seen, but you also want to see clearly. For this reason, try wearing a hat with a brim and sunglasses when it rains to avoid water getting in your eyes. Also, save your all-black running clothes for another time. Instead, wear bright shoes and/or a reflective top.

4. Check for lightning

While the traditional running season starts at the beginning of the spring and ends mid-fall, races happen all year round. With that in mind, race organizers won’t cancel or postpone a race due to the chance of rain unless there’s lightning or heavy winds involved. This means that it’s also not safe to go on training runs when there’s lightning present. So, it’s best to check the weather before you head out and ensure there’s no chance of lightning within a ten-mile radius.

5. Pay attention to your running mechanics

While running in the rain, be mindful of your running mechanics and consider how you may need to adjust your approach to finish your run safely. Focus on shortening your stride and picking up your cadence to avoid overreaching your legs and possibly slipping or sliding.

Keep in mind that there isn’t a solid way to approach running in the rain, but the bottom line is that it’s important to plan your run or race carefully: Monitor the weather, check your gear, plan your route, and adjust your approach accordingly. Above all else, be safe and have fun!

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running in the rain