Anyone who’s experienced runDisney’s 2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon (aka Splash & Dash,) knows a thing or two about running in the rain. The four of us had a similar experience with this year’s Broad Street 10 Miler with its nonstop chill. Both were equally miserable, but you know what, despite all my complaining … there’s something awesome about running in the rain.
Something that makes you feel bad ass.
Plus it gives you some fantastic battle stories to share later. Still, being prepared – both physically and mentally – can decide how that battle story ends! So this edition of Tuesday Ten is all about running survival in the rain to go along with Jackey’s post about running in summer heat.
1.) Adjust Your Expectations
This applies for both races and training runs. I made the mistake sticking with my plan to get a PR at Broad Street to use as proof of time for 2017’s Goofy Challenge, seeing as how I don’t have any local qualifying races planned this year. Considering the conditions, however, I should have chalked this one up as a fun run and not started as hard. (Instead, I finished hard because I just wanted to be done!)
If you’re doing a training run with speed work on the agenda, consider changing to slow and easy. A slow, safe run is better than one that can get your hurt!
2.) Wear a Visor or Brimmed Hat
Seriously. A visor will be your best friend. I would have gone berserk during both the races mentioned above had rain been pounding on my face. I prefer a visor since it lets heat escape from my head, but a baseball cap could be an amazing thing in chilly weather!
Another mistake I made for Broad: not hydrating enough post-race. (Well, I did hydrate the day prior, but it was of an alcoholic nature. #QueenOfBadChoices) Turns out, water-saturated skin does not give the same benefits of drinking water, so I had a massive headache after the race. So even there’s rain in the forecast, (or if the thought of adding any more water to your body makes you cringe,) be sure to consume enough liquids!
4.) Dress in Layers
The fabric closest to your skin is the most important – make sure it’s a technical fabric and NOT cotton. Cotton is bad. If it’s chilly, layer on a water resistant jacket and NOT a waterproof one that will trap moisture and heat. Waterproof is bad.
Adding on to this tip, be sure to not over-dress as well, a big mistake I often make. Here’s where the layers will help because you can shed if necessary.
5.) Protect Thyself from Chafing
Underneath all those layers, be sure to hit up high friction areas with a generous dose of body glide – underneath sports bra straps, beneath your breasts for gals and on nipples for gents, armpits, and inner thighs. For your feet, it’s a good idea to give your toes and heels a coat of Vaseline to prevent blisters. It doesn’t, however, help with waterlogging. They’re still going to look like wrinkled prunes after the race.
6.) Protect Your Electronics
This is a biggie for me since I like to shoot video throughout races. Since my Otterbox phone case isn’t waterproof, I’ve been using this Universal Waterproof since the video quality is still good although sounds are muffled. By the end of the race, however, texting was difficult although my frozen fingers did have something to do with it.
7.) Poncho or Garbage Bag Up
A cheap poncho from Walmart might not seem like a ton of protection, but it will be a life saver pre-race or even while running, as long as it doesn’t make you overheat. To keep it from blowing around, try wearing your visor overtop the hood and securing it at your waist with your race belt.
Equally effective, (and amusing for photos,) is a regular ole’ trash bag, with holes cut for your arms and head. I’m betting you can pull that look off.
8.) Protect (and Check) Your Shoes
Now, I’m hesitant to give this bit of advice since it’s something I don’t do. But I’ve seen other runners tie grocery bags on their shoes prior to the race to keep them dry before discarding once the race is about to begin. I’ve also seen runners with duct tape placed along the front and sides of their shoes. I personally don’t do either because shoes are going to get wet no matter what you do, plus I don’t want duct tape residue on my pricey Asics.
What I will recommend, however, that you make sure your shoes’ treads have plenty of traction and aren’t worn smooth. Smooth treads could lead to a wipe out and wipe outs aren’t fun.
9.) Watch Your Step!
Speaking of wipe outs … they can happen even to the best of treads so be sure to watch your step. This was my biggest concern during Broad Street since I was running the Tink Half Marathon the next weekend. Sure enough, I took my eye off the road for a second and landed right in a pothole. On my bad ankle. Crap.
Thankfully, there was no damage, but it was a lesson to be super careful. Sticking to the center of the road also helps since there’s less fall and fewer puddles. Hopefully.
10.) Change Soon Afterwards
Or at least as soon as possible because standing around in wet, damp clothes can lead to a major case of the chills and for us gals, issues down there. After Broad, I would have given anything for a dry bra, but at least I had dry shirts, a jacket, and cranked minivan heat to hold me! Stuffing your wet shoes with newspapers afterwards will also help dry them out.
I hope you enjoyed this list and that it helps you survive your next rainy race or training run! Now get out there and get it done.
QOTD: Have I missed anything? Share your best tips in the comments below.
Have a joyful day!
And if you’re interested in seeing our video recaps from Splash & Dash and Broad Street, here you go!