Running in the rain Tips from a runner who has learned to love it

Exercising in the winter can be difficult. With dark mornings, seasonal illnesses, and cold weather, an extra hour in bed or an evening of watching TV can be more tempting than ever. Many of us will be looking for excuses to skip workouts, and if you’re a runner, the rain is often the perfect reason to stay home.

But the rain shouldn’t stop you from training. In fact, it might even improve your performance. A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that people exerted more energy when running in rainy conditions.

Health benefits aside, running in the rain can actually be an enjoyable experience if you’re willing to change your mindset (and your running routine) to make it so. I am someone who flakes while running at the first sight of a drop of rain; It wasn’t until I got completely bored with home training a few months ago that I decided to start running in the rain.

Now, I prefer to run in the rain to exercise in sunny weather. Once I realized that rain, as my dad always said, is actually “just a little bit of water,” I started to find running in it a very liberating experience.

With slippery surfaces and reduced visibility, it’s important to make sure you stay safe when running in rainy weather. “Wear something reflective and stick to a route you know, ideally somewhere with a trail or a fair distance from traffic,” advises Imo Boddy, personal trainer and running coach. “Wear sneakers with good grip or a trail shoe to prevent slipping and when running try to stick to a path or park without too many potholes, puddles and puddles. water, curbs and rough terrain. “

Once you know it’s safe to run in the rain, it’s time to learn how to enjoy it. Here are my tips for preparing for rainy runs and changing your mindset about them.

Wear the right clothes

Of course, it is important that your clothes are suitable whatever the conditions in which you are running. But this is especially crucial when you are running in the rain.

The most important thing I’ve learned when it comes to dressing for a rainy race is to keep it minimal. I used to layer on waterproof jackets, but found that the less wet clothes you wear the better. Plus, even if it’s raining, you’re still going to be sweating, so you’ll likely end up with layers tied around your waist anyway.

Go for fabrics that dry quickly – many brands have lines created for this – and avoid cotton, which will lock in moisture and make you sweat more. Waterproof shoes are ideal, but it is more important that your shoes suit your feet and your running style.

Rain often means reduced visibility, so it is also essential to wear high visibility clothing, like a jacket or neon top.

Accept that you are going to get wet

If you spend your entire run trying to find shelter or avoid puddles, this is probably going to be quite stressful. Instead, accept that it’s going to rain on you and accept it.

When I run in the rain I try to adopt a childish mindset by thinking about how fun it can be to be outside when it rains. I romanticize my rainy runs as well, as finding your way around rainy streets can often feel quite cinematic and provide you with some serious energy for the main character.

Think of it as mental training

Aside from changing my mind to try and find the benefits of running in the rain, I also accept that I will have to mentally push myself to get through it. The phrase “mind before matter” is a phrase we often hear when it comes to fitness, especially with long runs like marathons and strength training. Running in difficult weather conditions can also help build your mental resilience, making you a more positive person and a better runner.

Treating running in the rain as mental training will train your mind as well as your body, which might help you run further and faster in the future and make you feel more optimistic about doing so. If you participate in races, running in the rain will also help you prepare for the possibility of it raining on a race day.

Be kind to yourself and take breaks

Being outside in the rain can be a challenge in itself, so avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to reach a new personal best or run a really long distance if you’re not used to running in these conditions. Running in the rain can also increase the risk of injury from slippery surfaces, so listen to your body and take breaks if you need to.

Stick to road racing

On a practical level, I try to avoid running in parks or any other potentially muddy place when it rains. There is an inevitable level of mess that comes with running in the rain, but you can minimize it by limiting yourself to running on the sidewalk. It’s also best to run in well-lit areas to stay safe, as well as to avoid potentially slippery surfaces.

Make a post-workout plan to be warm and dry

One of the perks of running in the rain is how great you feel when it’s over and it makes a comfortable night afterwards even more appealing. Make a plan for what you’re going to do after your run, perhaps taking a hot bath and packing a warm blanket for yourself when you get home.

It’s also important that you take off your wet clothes as soon as possible when you get home to avoid yeast infections, which can become a problem if you keep your clothes wet for too long after a workout.

Remember that the rain can support your workout

Exercise generates heat, increases our body temperature, and makes us sweat. It’s an inevitable part of running, but it’s often uncomfortable. Think of rain as a natural way to cool off.

One of my favorite things about running in the rain is that being wet and the rain itself distracts me from any struggle I might encounter as a result of the race. Motivating myself to keep running is something I find very difficult, but when it rains I have less space and time to think about any running difficulties I might encounter so I’m more likely to keep going. to run. Also, I generally want to get home faster than usual so some of my fastest runs have been raining.

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