Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Art of Running in the Rain

I'm originally from Seattle which means I grew up with rain the way Upper East Siders grow up with nannies. Sometimes rain sucks. On a cold fall or winter day when the temperatures hovering just above freezing, rain can chill you all the way through, making it impossible to warm up post-run. During a race it can deter your friends from coming out to cheer and it can drench your change of clothes too. However, during the summer months (as Luke Bryan likes to say), rain is a good thing.

The way I see on warm summer runs you're either going to finish soaked in sweat or soaked in rain, and frankly, I smell better in the latter. Seriously, though, running in the rain can actually be quite enjoyable as long as you follow a few simple pieces of advice:

Photo Credit: Michael Dulle
Wear wicking fabric - Cotton gets really heavy in the rain and will cling to your skin. Wicking fabric doesn't soak up as much rain and so won't feel as heavy.

Make sure your shoes have traction - Sure you might want to wear your old shoes over your shiny new ones, but make sure the treads still work. Just like tires your shoes can slip if they're totally worn down.

Socks-wear them! - Hopefully you're already wearing socks, but wet shoes can equal blisters on a longer run if you don't have appropriate socks. I recommend Wrightsock and Smartwool, my two favorite brands.

Hat/Sunglasses - If it's really pouring wearing a pair of shades or a hat can help keep the rain out of your eyes. If you're wearing sunglasses, I'm a hug fan of Oakley's hydrophobic pen that you can apply to any sunglasses to prevent rain from leaving streaks--it just beads right off.

Anyway, with all the afternoon showers we've been having lately hopefully these tips will keep you from taking your runs inside to the treaddreadmill.


  1. the dreadmill?! never! give me a rainy run any day. i love running in the rain in the summer. not a thunderstorm, however. i got caught in them too many times.

  2. I secretly hope for rain during the summer - its a nice cool down from the intense heat. My favorite is when there is a constant mist. Now in the fall...well thats another story ;)