Cast your mind back to your childhood and what rain meant to you then. For me it meant cancelled outdoor play at school. That may not sound great but it also heralded the indoor sandpit being wheeled out, something which didn’t happen often and was cause for major fanfare.
Rain in my childhood also meant wellies. Pulling on footwear that would allow me to gallop through puddles, jumping up and down in the deep ones to watch the huge splashes leap up around me.
Fast forward to now and I am a grown-up. I am also a runner and rain holds no less enjoyment for me. Running in the rain is my favourite. Most people are hiding indoors while I am free to head outside, still splashing through the puddles, making the most of nature’s cooling system and then head home absolutely soaked and pink skinned to enjoy a hot shower.
I appreciate this is not the case for a lot of runners but I want to try and convince you that running in the rain is not the chore than many of you may believe it to be. You could argue that it’s a necessity in achieving your goals when you take this country’s climate into consideration.
Before writing this article I asked my colleagues for their thoughts on running in the rain. This was the response of Richard Nerurkar MBE: If you can’t run in the rain and you live in Britain you won’t be a very good runner.
You could argue that you can always head to the gym and hit the dreadmill but it just doesn’t replicate running outdoors (where no membership is required) and you have to put up with the muscle crew grunting at themselves in the mirror.
So here at The Running Works we’ve pooled together some tips and motivation that will (hopefully) help you brave more wet weather running:
- Remember that your skin is waterproof. You’re going to shower at the end – you can’t get any wetter!
- There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate kit.
- A running cap to keep the water out of your eyes makes life much more pleasant when running in the rain.
- Be mindful of wet concrete, particularly when switching between road and path.
- You’re unlikely to overheat when running in the rain, and many people find their legs feel better after running in the rain than they would otherwise. Many of the fastest marathon times in the world have been set in light rain or drizzle.
- That said, for long runs hydration is just as important in the wet as in the dry.
- Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. You can’t choose race day weather so training for all possibilities puts you in a stronger position.
- Running through puddles can be fun. Avoid the deeper ones as you can’t see what they are covering (pot holes etc).
- The first step is often the hardest – remember that once you’re out and doing it you’ll be just fine.
- It’s a challenge but ultimately more rewarding and we’re not afraid to say it: it’s ok to feel smug about your soggy achievement.
- Fewer pedestrians means you have more of the route to yourself so you can leave the sharpened elbows at home and just enjoy your run.
- Heavy rain and dark clouds can impede visibility so be extra vigilant at crossings. Make yourself more visible to others by wearing clothing with reflective details.
- Running in the rain is guaranteed to make you feel like an 8 year old again so get out there. Embrace it. Enjoy it.
Running in the Rain: Team Kit Tips
“If it’s summer rain I like to run in just a technical t-shirt and shorts. In the winter when it’s cold and raining a fully waterproof jacket like the OMM Kamleika Race Jacket II is perfect. It’s still really lightweight but keeps you nice and dry.”
“I love my Saucony a.m. Run Cap to keep raindrops out of my eyes. It’s perfect for summer rain as it’s fairly light so my head doesn’t overheat. It has a reflective logo and trim which is great for evening runs.”
“Having shoes with decent grip is really handy in the rain. I run in adidas Adios Boosts. Pretty much all adidas shoes have Continental Rubber outsoles. It’s the same material used for their car tyres so really reliable.”
Are you an all-weather-warrior or a fair-weather runner? Share your own tips with us in the comments section!
Here is a helpful article on running during the summer months.