By: Jeremy Neisser
Let's face it; not all runs are going to be perfect. This especially applies to those of us training for a race. For the rest of you, it's okay to crank up the heat and sleep in even more when it's pouring outside.
But if you’re training for any form of outdoor competition, then you can’t let a little rain (or heavy rain) get you down.
After all, it’s not like they’re going to cancel the race unless things escalate to Tsunami or Hurricane levels.
Having run numerous races in the ran, I have compiled the ultimate guide to running in the rain all from my own experiences. But before we even get any further, why should you even bother running in the rain in the first place?
Benefits of Running in the Rain
If your jog or run takes you outdoors most of the time, then you should know that running during a drizzle just comes with the territory.
Seriously, it’s not a matter of if, but when you’ll end up galloping in the pouring rain. That’s why it makes total sense be prepared by actually looking forward to these wet runs.
I know that it can be more than tempting to pull up the covers and sleep through your training during rainy seasons, but that could be the decision that ends hamper your progress.
Alternatively, you could always hit your indoor gym and break that treadmill in half. But then again, you’ll be racing real people in the real world; definitely not on a controlled platform.
The truth is that nothing is more unpredictable than the weather when it comes to scheduling running races. It could be 80 degrees outside and quite sunny today and extremely cold and wet the next day.
That’s why any smart athlete knows that you have to adapt to your environment and expect anything and everything.
So basically, running in the rain because chances are that you’ll be splashing about on the big day; and the miles don’t care.
If you’re still scared of getting wet, here’s all the motivation you need in one single video.
Ok, I know it is a little cheesy. But I an encouraging you to run in the rain :).
But, running in rainy weather doesn’t have to be completely miserable.
As somebody who’s run through virtually all types of weather, I’m here to tell you that training in rain can be tons of fun.
It’s refreshing, it adds a new challenge to the routine and brings a whole new dimension to the game.
Not to mention how cool and exciting it feels.
But only if done right and with the correct gear.
This takes us to our next subtopic that will help you run safe and keep dry while you’re at it.
Running in the Rain Tips:
1. What to Wear
Ah yes, the age-old question of what an athlete in training is supposed to wear when it’s pouring outside. Let's dive into clothing recommendations. From your headwear to your socks and running shoes, my goal is to make it not suck as much by providing good gear tips.
Apart from being a prime opportunity to use phrases like gully washer and pouring cats and dogs, running during a shower can be one of the most pleasurable, liberating training experiences a runner could ever have.
However, it can also be unbelievably miserable if you come at it the wrong way.
The key to an enjoyable, beneficial run in the rain is having the right gear for the job.
From your head all the way to the toes, every single part needs to be kept warm and most importantly, dry.
But there’s a method to all this meteorological madness, and it all starts with the head.
I know that I don’t have to point out how important your head is, but I will anyway.
Your noggin holds one (or two) of the most essential elements that you need to run in the rain; your eyes.
No matter the rainfall intensity, outside temperatures, season, terrain, distance, or pace, a hat with a neat brim is your number one, must have accessory.
You can find some killer rain caps on Amazon such as the Outdoor Research Halo Rain Cap.
- 100% Other Fibers
- Hand Wash
- Fabric Performance: Waterproof, Fully Seam-Taped, Breathable, Lightweight, Wicking, Quick-Drying, TransAction Headband, UPF 50+
- OUTDOOR RESEARCH: We built a company from a feeling: the urge to get out. It's what drives us. Our tribe is devoted to exploring our outdoor passions and challenging ourselves in the mountains, water, and deserts of the planet we love so much.
The brim helps keep the rain off your face and most importantly, out of your eyes. Otherwise, how else are you gonna to see?
I don’t know about you, but seeing where you’re going during a race is always a big plus.
It also helps if the hat is highly moisture-wicking, fast drying and running-specific and even waterproof.
This will let you keep you cool and stay snug even on excessively wet days.
Trust me, the last thing you want is a heavy, soggy hat dragging you down all the way on your rainy run.
2. Dress Smart
Wet clothes are no fun. Like all seasoned runners who are used to running in the cold, it’s very important to have the right layers on. Running in the rain is not much different.
But you have to be vigilant so you don’t either overdress or underdress. If you go overkill, you might end up sweating and fatiguing yourself early.
And if you underdress, then you might catch a severe case of pneumonia. Contrary to popular belief, the key is to actually wear fewer, but smarter clothes.
For example, cotton may seem warm and a great option for wet conditions, but it only acts as a sponge and soaks up as much water as possible.
Here’s how you layer like a pro. The base layer that is closest and dearest to your body needs to be technical, fitted and moisture-wicking fabric.
This will allow you to stay warm and dry as well as keep any sweat under control.
The next layer after that needs to be both wind and water-resistant to ensure that no water comes into contact with your inner layer.
If it’s really pouring out, then you are allowed to have one more layer (outer layer) in the form of a lightweight, breathable waterproof jacket such as the Jersey Bicycle Windproof Jacket Rain Coat.
Athletes in colder or snowy conditions can opt for heavier duty jackets when temperatures are really low.
For the legs, going with a pair of ColdGear tights helps keep the water out and keep your running sticks warm. By far this is the best, windproof jacket available.
- NOTICE:Please CHECK our SIZE CHART carefully before purchasing
- Ultra light-weight,uniquely designed for optimum comfort levels
- Windproof,waterproof,it is easy to wash and quick dry，and can be folded into a small volume,easy to carry
- Comfortable cycling or running,activities freely
- Hooded design to offer maximal rain protection in wet weather,featuring full drawstrings for extra comfort
3. Proper Footwear
Like all your other gear, it goes without saying that your running shoes should also be water resistant. Impregnable uppers make it impossible for water to seep in clog your shoe.
If you’ve ever tried running with wet, soggy running shoes, then you obviously know that you won’t be getting very far very fast. We put together a great list of the best socks for running in the rain that you can find right here.
Aside from the waterproof uppers, checking out the grip is also very important. It could make the difference between an invigorating run and some sprained ankles.
If you look at the outsole of your running shoes and find it’s smooth, then it’s going to be extremely hard for you to catch your footing in wet terrain and muddy conditions.
To be ready for a rainy run, your running shoes should have well-defined treads and grooves that are at least one millimeter deep.
These channels let the water pass through and help you get a better grip even on slippery terrain. A pair of shoes that allow a ton of water and have minimal traction spell disaster for your feet and could lead to falls.
The icing on the cake should be moisture wicking interiors and breathable uppers that will help your feet stay fresh and cool while avoiding bad odors and sweat buildup during your rainy run.
- You Might like: The 5 Best Waterproof Running Socks
A Few Notes About Your Running in the Rain Clothes & Running Gear
In addition to the three important areas of your body that you consider as you run in the rain, here are a few additional tips to make the experience wonderful.
2. Be Visible - Break Out the Neon
You know those wild, neon running tights and vest that you absolutely love (you know the ones I’m talking about).
Yeah, these will definitely come in handy for a running in the rain. That’s because the more it pours, the darker it gets and the more difficult it becomes for motorists to see you.
We’ll get into that later on at the safety segment below.
But it’s safe to say that wearing neon pink, yellow, orange, or even green will make you much more visible during both day and night.
So if it starts raining next time you want to run, remember to grab some reflective gear.
3. Dress in Close Fitting Gear To Prevent Chafing
As counter-intuitive as this may sound, nothing works better in the rain than close-fitting clothing.
See, that’s because wearing loose, layered clothing leads to a soaked, cumbersome and miserable run.
Whether it’s a fitted long sleeve shirt or a DIY rain resistant shell, making sure it fits counts.
4. Knock Out as Many Senses as Possible
This is one of the most efficient power techniques used by professional runners worldwide.
The fewer senses you have perceived the rain, the less focused you will be on it!
So wear some goggles, long sleeves, headphones, etc. to dull your senses to the rain. Try out these anti-fog sunglasses out for size. I am also a baseball cap person - so when I run in the rain, I wear one too.
- The unique properties of the copolymer nosepiece and temples allow you to conform the Ocoee to the head while retaining the shape
- Sporty and unisex design
- Co-injected temples and nosepiece
- Foldable structure at nosebridge provides ultra comfort for extended use without slipping
- Anti-fog, scratch resistant polycarbonate lens provides 99% UVA/B/C protection
5. Keep Those Electronics Ziploc Fresh
Hands up if you like to run with a little music to power you through.
Yeah, that makes all of us.
From music players and Bluetooth devices to iPhones and iPods, everyone has their own preference.
But if the weather is really bad, it’s always better to leave your devices at home.
However, we’ll be the first to admit that this is not always an option.
That’s why you need to have a ziplock bag or some sort of waterproof compartments in your jacket for extra protection.
Water has an uncanny habit of finding its way into every nook and cranny; I wouldn’t take any chances if I were you.
A Few Safety Related Tips When Running in the rain:
Unlike running when the skies are blue and bright, running in the rain poses a couple of unique hazards.
You’d be surprised how many people set out on a wet run only to regret it a few miles in.
We’ve compiled some helpful safety tips that will help you keep safe, comfortable and most importantly, alive.
There you have it; all you need to know to become a professional wet runner. But before you go out running in the rain, let’s just get one last thing clear.
If there’s lighting in the sky and the weatherman is pointing to all sorts of cyclones on the TV, then stay inside if not dying sounds nice to you.
Even diehard runners know when it’s time to bust out the treadmill.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll know the weather has really gone to the dogs when professional sports teams and competitions start getting canceled.
But, if they’re still playing, then get out there are and start dodging raindrops
Hi, Jeremy Here,
I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journey. About Jeremy.
I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods
Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API