Well, I guess it’s time to start talking about strategy and getting prepared to do runs in the rain (or even races). The Horse Capital Marathon is this weekend and we are looking at a decent chance of rain. Running in the rain isn’t completely a bad thing. There are some benefits to it. It is a lot harder to get overheated in the rain. Without the sun beating down on you, your also less likely to get a sunburn. See rain is a good thing.
Obviously running in the rain creates some problems that we normally don’t have to deal with. First thing that comes to mind is what to wear. People have a tendency to overdress for rain. You will need a couple layers to keep your body from getting cold, but in general you should dress like you would for that temp if it was a dry day. Wear a base layer of polypropylene, DriFit, CoolMax or something like that. This type of clothing will not hold the moisture and pull it away from your skin. Over that add a water resistant jacket and you should be good. The jacket will deflect as much as possible and the shirt will do its best to keep the rest off your skin. A good hat with a large brim is good as well. The hat will help keep the water off your face and that will help you be able to see where your going and that is always a good thing.
If you are running in the rain on roads that aren’t closed you need to keep in mind that not only is it harder for you to see it’s harder for the drivers to see. Make sure you are wearing high visibility clothing as your outer layer. Not only is it harder for cars to see you, it’s harder for them to stop or change directions if they see you at the last second. It’s definitely a much better idea to avoid open roads during rain.
Chafing is not fun! Chafing is worse when your skin is wet! Take care of areas that chafe! Enough said.
If you are expecting rain on your big race day (hello Horse Cap people) it’s a good idea to not wear our race shoes to the event. Bring them and your socks in a bag that will keep them dry. Carry them around and let your other shoes and socks get wet during pre-race festivities. Right before race starts make the switch. If you get lucky and the rain stops you will be one of the few people running your 13.1 or 26.2 in dry shoes and socks. That is a major advantage. If you do end up with wet feet and shoes dry them both ASAP. Stuff your shoes with wadded up newspaper and it will help hold the shape of the shoe and soak up water. Get your feet dry so that blisters don’t become an even bigger problem than they most likely already are.
When it comes right down to it you should never avoid rain during training runs. It will give you the confidence to get out there and make those rainy race days a success. It may not be ideal, but rain is going to happen from time to time. So learn the tricks to help make it bearable and get out there and run.
P.S. After I wrote this I check the weather again for the #hcmarathon16 and we are down to a 30% chance in the afternoon. We could possibly be dry for the race!