I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of pitter patters on the window. Just like it had been doing the night before when Marcus and I walked Winnie, it was raining. I had 6 miles on my schedule to finish up my week of running before tomorrow’s big 22 miler. I needed to get in the workout at some point yesterday, so my mind started to go through whether I should or shouldn’t head out in the rain. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before heading out for the puddles, and a few tips as well if you do choose to run in the rain.
1. Is there thunder and lightning?
Yes –> Go back to bed. Lightning is not something to play with! Instead of just listening for thunder, be sure to check a weather app or radar on your computer or phone. You can set the overlay to a lightning detector to see if there is anything in your area, or coming your way. Remember, according to Walpole Emergency Management “Lightning can strike as much as 10 miles away from the rain area in a thunderstorm; that’s about the distance that you are able to hear the thunder from the storm. In some instances when a storm is ten miles away, it may even be difficult to tell that a storm is nearby. However, IF YOU CAN HEAR THE THUNDER FROM A STORM, CHANCES ARE THAT YOU ARE WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE OF THAT STORM. Also, remember that each thunderstorm has a first stroke of lightning, which is just as deadly as any other stroke. If the sky looks threatening, take shelter before hearing thunder.”
No –> Move to step 2
2. How hard is it raining?
Really Hard –> Don’t bother heading out. If it is raining extremely hard, it is dangerous not only for you, but as well for the drivers on the road. The may be focusing hard on keeping their vehicle safely on the road, rather than looking out for pedestrians, which they probably would expect to be inside when it is pouring. If you head out on a run when it is sprinkling, and a down pour happens mid workout, just be careful and never expect the driver to see you.
Just Drizzling –> Move to step 3
3. What season of the year are you in?
Winter –> Brrr, get back inside. Running now will just lead to sickness!
Spring –> Still probably too cold in most part of the country, but play it by ear
Summer –> Get out and run! Just watch out for those thunderstorms. Summer is the most common time of year for them
Fall –> If you live in Florida (or a warm weather state) like me, then fall is pretty much summer, so running in the rain is a piece of cake. Other places across the U.S., this isn’t so common. Use your judgement on whether the temperatures are indicative to not getting sick.
4. Do you have time to run later?
Yes – Cool, then plan on that!
No – Already have plans at night that you can’t back out of? Get to your wet run!
5. Do you have access to a treadmill?
Yes – The treadmill is always an option if you are an anti-rainy day runner. Getting to the gym when you didn’t plan to go can be tough if you didn’t plan for the commute time early in the morning. You can always adjust your workout to fit in the allotted time. Remember, a shorter run is better than no run!
No – Welp, that rain is looking more and more inviting 😉
If you do decide that running in the rain is the right option for you, here are a few quick tips!
Wear a hat – This is a big one for me. It helps so much to not be pelted in the face every second. The hat keeps your vision at a much higher level!
Put on extra Body Glide – Everywhere, seriously. Your body chafes in different spots when you are wet compared to when your clothes sit on you nice and dry. This one is non negotiable
Wear a tighter fitting outfit – When you get drenched on the rain, your clothes start to sag. If you are wearing spandex, then the clothes will pretty much stay put. That comfy baggy tee that you love to run in – leave it at home this time and opt for the lycra tank.
Wear a rain jacket – Only if you decide to run in cold rain. If it is hot outside and you decide to wear a jacket, then you are going to get pretty toasty under there!
Hop in the shower quickly after you finish – This is the quickest and easiest way to warm up after you have been running in the rain!
Leave the gadgets at home – You wouldn’t want that awesome iPad shuffle or fancy phone get ruined, would you? Just leave it at home – gadgets are not meant for rainy day running.
Have fun with it! – One of my favorite activities as a kid was playing in a sun shower. It would downpour for a few minutes, but be sunny as can be the whole time. We always took advantage of these days to play in the rain! For me, running in the rain makes me feel like a kid again.
Most importantly, if you don’t want to run in the rain, then don’t! Skip the day of running if you have to. Far too many people think that skipping a single day is going to hurt your training. It’s really not that big of a deal. Life (and mother nature) gets in the way sometimes. Learn to be flexible, and just make your run that much better the following day.