The Everyman: Running In The Rain

Not all races occur in optimal conditions. Photo:

Working out in a rainstorm isn’t always pleasant, but there are worse things in life.

It’s been raining for most of the spring here in Virginia. And after a week of sun and warmer temperatures, the wet stuff is back for another day.

Major bummer.

This means my beloved Wednesday night ride with the boys at the bike shop is in jeopardy, and a midday run is out of the question.

Well, a run doesn’t have to be off the table. I just choose not to run in the rain in most cases.

That’s probably the wrong move. What if my next half marathon or marathon takes place in the rain? I wouldn’t know what it’s like to slog through each mile soaking wet. Here’s a story:

A few years ago when I was working in the northeast, my editor and another co-worker joined me on a run through Central Park in New York City. It was the middle of the summer, hot as blazes, and we were eager to get in some after-work miles.

Shortly after we began our one-loop, 10K journey around the park, the skies opened up and unleashed more rain than I’ve ever seen. Rushing water flooded toward me as I ran up the hills. While descending, I felt like I was running on top of the water. And I almost wiped out a half dozen times.

We were, of course, soaked when we met up post-run. It was a good thing I at least had another shirt to change into for the car ride home. Otherwise I would have ruined the passenger seat of my editor’s car.

RELATED: Running In Bad Weather Conditions

I’m not sure there’s a lesson to be learned from that story, but it did make me realize that running in the pouring rain, as unpleasant as sounds, isn’t all that bad. It keeps you cool in the summer, for one. And if you do some training runs in the rain, you’re most likely doing more than the guy next to you in the starting corral. So when he slows down at mile 5 because of his saturated running shoes and soaked clothing, you will have the confidence to pass him and keep going.

If the temperatures aren’t summer-like, all it takes are a few extra pieces of gear to make your run comfortable—a light jacket (the ones with air vents are best in case you get hot), and a running hat to keep the rain out of your face. And, of course, two plastic baggies for your phone (I double up to make sure it stays dry).

Post-run, be sure to hang up your gear and let your shoes completely dry out.

So what are you waiting for? Brave the rain and head out the door.

RELATED: Clean Up Your Gear To Make It Last

Got any tips for running in poor weather? Tweet me @jason_devaney1.

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