Running in the Rain: 5 Do’s and Don’ts

It’s funny, because when I returned home from my run this morning, Noah was as confused as he should have been. Just one day earlier, we had given up on a rainy morning run after just about a mile, so when he saw that I wasn’t in the living room kickboxing away, he knew that, despite the pounding rain, I was probably out there doing my thing.

So what changed between Sunday and Monday?

Well, for one, the temperature. While it looked and sounded pretty gross outside, I checked my weather app just after my alarm went off, and at 51 degrees, I could feel the temptation in my heart rising.

And of course, the fact that it was Monday morning roped me in as well. As of late, I’ve been enjoying yoga at my office on Monday evenings. Thanks to the joys of wedding planning, I couldn’t make this week’s session, and so I was desperate to at least log a solid Central Park run.

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What it comes down to is this; running in the rain isn’t for everyone. You can slip, you can get sick, you can break your iPod or phone. But, when done right, rainy runs can be incredibly inspiring, exhilarating and generally fun. There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with a rainy run that’s different than any you’ll find when the sun’s shining and when the ground’s not glistening.

So, if you’re thinking of heading out in the rain, I say, do it! Just be sure to know your limitations, trust your instincts and have a good time. Here are my five do’s and don’ts of running in the rain.

Do wear rain-friendly running gear. I wear a black Asics zip-up that keeps my phone and keys dry.

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Do wear old sneakers. There is nothing like the feeling of ruining a nice new pair in a puddle, plus, you’ll be less worried about dirtying up your kicks while out there.

Do check the weather. Like I said, temperature is key on a rainy day. Too cold, and the water will freeze when it hits your face — much like Sunday, when it literally gave me brain freeze. On warmer days, in truth, the rain can actually feel kind of nice.

Do hydrate. Just because it’s wet outside doesn’t mean you’ve had your fill of H2O. Either before, during or after your run, make sure to replenish your body’s supply of water.

Do choose your course wisely. For example, Monday’s rain turned the remnants of Friday’s snowstorm into mush. Mush, for runners, can be dangerous, as it’s extra slippery and, at times, difficult to see. If possible, choose a route that’s flat, and try to avoid as many hills as you can. Keep it simple, and you’ll be good to go.

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Don’t wear your favorite shiny new anything. Sneakers, sweatshirt, headband, I don’t care. If it’s new, it has no place on a rainy run. You are bound to get soaked and possibly muddy from head to toe.

Don’t bring any valuable electronics. Unless, of course, you have a safe pocket — and even then, there’s no guarantee that the moisture won’t ruin your precious device. (Note: I’m up for an iPhone upgrade anyway!)

Don’t be headstrong. After all, it’s going to look like you peed yourself.

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Don’t be careless. I don’t care whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall — rain means slippery, and slippery sidewalks can lead to a potential injury. Better to stay indoors if you’re thinking it might be dangerous than to risk a break or fracture.

Don’t let the rain get to your head. The water will seep through your toes, drip into your eyes, even (somehow) shoot up your nose. Try to focus on the reason you’re out there — to run, to enjoy nature (the good and the bad) and to break a good sweat, even  if you can’t tell the difference between your perspiration and the precipitation.

Do you run in the rain? What do’s and don’ts would you add to this list?

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4 thoughts on “Running in the Rain: 5 Do’s and Don’ts

  1. So jealous of your run in the rain.It is -12 degrees and the windchill is something ridiculous in the negative 30’s here in NE-Ohio. The only run I forsee in the next few days will be on the dreadmill.

    • In all fairness — it was a brief 50-degree period of time! It’s 4 degrees here now (though the windchill definitely brings that to the negatives). It’s all indoor workouts for me these days!

  2. I love to run in the rain in the summer! Not so much in the winter months. I am def counting down the months until summer or at least spring. Great tips for running in the rain. Wearing old shoes is a must! You don’t want to ruin your good pair. I went hiking in new running shoes once and got them all muddy. I regretted it then had to clean them!

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