Tips for Running in the Rain

A few years (months?) ago, a rainy day would have been an excuse not to get my run in. Today, I reveled in it.


Heh. I’m such a dork. I own it!

It was cloudy but dry when I put my running duds on this morning. But by the time I stepped out the door, it was beginning to drizzle.

I started to have second thoughts and then I said to myself, What? You gonna melt? And I pushed START on my Jogger app and took off at a trot down the street in the mist.

The mist soon become a steady drizzle, but the air was cool and crisp — a welcome relief from the hot, humid weather I’ve been running in this week. There was a light breeze, Phil Phillips was crooning in my ear, and my legs felt weightless as I ran up the hill past the field of contentedly grazing cows. Clearly they didn’t mind the rain either.

The next thing I knew, I was smiling — not just any smile — but a full-on crazy grin. I’m sure the people driving past me on their way to work probably thought I was a lunatic, and not just for running in the rain.

I set out to run 3.5 miles and ended up running an even 4 because it felt so good. Yesterday, my legs felt heavy, the air was thick, and my run was a struggle start to finish. Today, I felt like I was flying.

You just never know till you get out there what kind of run it’s going to be, and often the days you are the most reluctant to start are the ones that feel the best.

So don’t let the rain stop you from getting your run in! (Or your walk or your bike ride or whatever it is you’ve committed to do.) There are definitely some tricks to making rainy day exercising more comfortable, though. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Tips for Running in the Rain

1) DO wear a baseball cap.

I don’t know why I spent so many years not wearing a cap to run. They make lightweight ones for summer running too. Now that I’ve discovered it, I don’t run without it. When it’s sunny, it helps shade my face. When I’m running in the summer, it keeps the bugs out of my hair (I know, ew!) And when it’s rainy, it keeps my head and face relatively dry. I hate the tickle of water droplets trickling down my head, under my hair. A cap is essential for running in the rain!

2) DO wear bright colors.

It’s always important to wear bright colors so cars can see you, but never more so than when it’s rainy and cloudy out. I set out today to wear a black top and black pants, and my husband stopped me and asked me to put on a brighter top so I did. I love the Heatgear line by Under Armour. As I was running, I noticed how gray everything was and I was glad I’d made the change. Also, don’t wear green as it blends into the trees.

3) Do NOT wear a white top.

No commentary necessary, ahem.

4) DO wear moisture-wicking clothing.

If it’s wet, there’s nothing worse than cotton sticking to you. I love moisture-wicking clothing for all my workouts, but it’s especially important in the rain to avoid chafing and irritation. I love Under Amour and Nike athletic wear, and the C9 by Champion line for Target is very affordable. (And don’t forget moisture-wicking socks!)

5) Enjoy it!

Even if you’re a girly-girl like me, make a CHOICE to enjoy the rain. It’s very freeing to go out in the rain and run with abandon. I highly recommend it!

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17 Responses

  1. Oh man! I’d run in the rain, if I ran ;-). I Love the rain especially when it’s a warmish rain. Kuddos to you! Now I just need to learn to love running…

  2. One of my best runs when training for my half last fall was in the rain. It was pouring when I set out. I was so grumpy and stressing about running the next day and Travis asked me why I didn’t just go run then. It was warm, so the rain was comfortable. I loved it. 6 miles in 60 minutes.

    I’m behind on reading. So proud of you for committing to a half!!

  3. I love running in the rain! I did my long run in the rain last Sunday hitting the trails at a local college. So cool to run under the trees and hear the rain on the leaves.

    Yes, I never used to wear a hat because of hat head. Now I do because I don’t want to wear sunglasses. I saw this fabulous purple hat at a local running store with a side pocket for a car key; I may treat myself to it.

  4. I love this post! I smiled reading you were smiling running! I did a short one today on the beach and felt the same way. Just joy being alive and running.

  5. Wow. Thank you for this post- it came at just the right time for me! I was starting to wonder how I was going to achieve my fitness goal on my own, and why do I sign up for these crazy things anyway, when I just went for one of those “it might rain” runs that miraculously turned into a 10K and immediately sat down to stretch and read my email. I want on that team!! Thank you!!

  6. So, I haven’t really run in two years (since completing my last 5k). I decided that I really needed to start running again, and today was going to be the day. Then I found excuse after excuse for why I couldn’t go. I sat down at the PC and opened your blog, honestly trying to waste time until it was too dark/cold to go. Wouldn’t you know, you were right there with me saying “do it, it won’t kill you!” Thanks for being my motivation today!

  7. Did you use some type of learn to run program when you started running? I am just starting out and am loving the app I am using but was wondering how others have done it? Going from not running ever to being a “runner”…

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