Running in the Rain

Running in the rain. Photo by stevenjohn19.

Running in the rain. Photo by stevenjohn19.

I am a somewhat obsessive weather checker. is almost always an open tab on my web browser and at a minimum I look at the the forecast for the day first thing in the morning and before I go to bed I check the hourly forecast for the following morning. Knowing the temperature and predicted precipitation and wind is typically what determines what running clothes I get out in preparation for the next morning.

If there is more than a 40% chance of rain I am on the treadmill. If I wake up and it’s drizzling, I’m on the treadmill. I’ve never voluntarily gone out to run when it’s already raining. I can’t even recall a time where it started raining while I was running. Snow, yes. Rain, no. I’ve not even gone out in a warm sprinkle. But I want to. I don’t want rain to stop me from running outside. A torrential downpour? Sure, I’ll stick with my treadmill routine if it’s dumping, but I am frustrated that I let a simple spring rain keep me inside.

I’m curious what your threshold as a runner is for running in the rain. What is the worst rain you’ll run in? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being a torrential, windy downpour and 1 being a light sprinkle, what is the level that pushes you inside? And when you do go out to run in the rain, what are you wearing?

It’s not the fear of catching a cold while running in the rain that stops me. And I don’t mind being wet necessarily, so long as I’m not cold. I think I mostly struggle with what running gear is most appropriate for running in the rain. Blisters do scare me and I can just picture coming in from a wet run after having trampled through puddles and taking off my wet shoes and soggy socks to find blisters underneath. I’ve read before about duct taping shoes and I wonder if it would make sense to have a pair that are always ducted and ready for a wet run? But they have to dry eventually, so do you throw your shoes in the dryer?

I used to have a lightweight rain jacket with pit zippers for ventilation which would have been perfect for running in the rain, but I lost it. I do plan to get a new jacket as I don’t want to be trapped on the treadmill every timeĀ  precipitation is predicted. But do you really need a jacket? Is a regular wicking technical shirt sufficient?

There is a good chance I’m overthinking all this. The only way to really get these questions answered is to just go out there, in the rain, and run. But, if you have any tips for a hesitant rainy day runner, please do share!

4 thoughts on “Running in the Rain

  1. Dave

    Running in the rain doesn’t bother me…it keeps me cool! I’ll wear a jacket if it’s cold, otherwise I don’t bother. Mind you, I live in England so if I didn’t go out in the rain, I’d never run!!

  2. crossn81

    I don’t usually mind the rain – unless its cold, then I’d prefer the snow! I would tend to just wear a wicking shirt on an average day, if it was below 50 I’d probably wear a light jacket. On a rainy day (or when I go mud running) I make sure to wear some of my fancier socks to help prevent blisters (can’t recall any problems) and then use wadded up newspaper to dry my shoes out.

  3. Natalie Post author

    @crossn81, thank you! The newspaper tip is just the kind of thing I was looking for; I knew there had to be something and its always helpful to be reminded to get and wear good socks. Perhaps I’m ‘ready’ for the next rainy day!

  4. Pingback: Weather Window | Health and Running

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