Preparing for the rain.

Rain, Running, Southampton, Coaching, Running, fitness,

07 Nov Preparing for the rain.

I’ve literally just returned from a run in the rain.


It was actually one of those “bearable” runs, where you start off in the dry, but the rain gradually comes until you aren’t sure whether it’s rain or sweat anymore…

Grim I know.

But there are those times where you just can’t face heading out the door because it is already lashing it down. Theres been plenty of times I’ve stood at the door, procrastinating, looking at the grey clouds expecting them to suddenly move and for the run to have this blissful dry with blue skies.


However, event day, we don’t have that luxury. When its going to start at 10am, it’ll start regardless of the conditions.

So we need to come up with some solutions with how to best manage the rain on our training runs so that we aren’t put off by it should it happen on event day.

So I had a little think and popped together some of the things I’ll do getting ready for a rainy run.


  1. Dress for the temperature, don’t dress for the rain. 

    When it rains and we are off on a walk, we’d grab a umbrella, rain jacket, waterproof shoes perhaps and brave it. When it runs, often we’ll see runners in those plastic “boil in the bag” type jackets that just make you sweat a lot.

    When we walk, we don’t really raise the heart rate enough to keep warm when we are wet. When we run however, the majority of us will keep warm (unless it’s going down into the low single digits) so we don’t really use to use these sweat bags unless the temperature is low, or you are out for a long run where your body temperature might drop.

    Personally, if its in double figures I’ll be out in the rain in shorts and t-shirt (Occasionally I’ll warm up/Cool Down in a jacket).

    If it drops to single figures, a tight fitting base layer will come out with me.
    Low single figures, a base layer and a boil in the bag too!

  2. Peaking for success

    Vision is so very important! So making sure when the rain gets heavy that you can see is of great benefit to you and also people around you too!

    So I use a cap with a peak in very wet weathers to keep the rain off my face and help with seeing where I am going.

    You can also get caps that are breathable for warm days and caps with covers for your ears on cold days too.

  3. Don’t get irritated

    Chafing, if there was one thing I wasn’t expecting when I lined up to my first rainy 10k many years ago, it was chafing.

    It was a mild morning (warm enough to be in t-shirt and shorts), but clearly when the rain came my body temperature dropped, goosebumps popped up and both nipples decided to see how close they could get to me t-shirt whilst I was running…

    7km in and I was in agony, trying as best I could to run but prevent my t-shirt from touching my (now very sore) nips. It was one mistake I would NEVER make again.

    One saving grace was that I was wearing a red t-shirt.

    Simple solutions to this – buy some Body Glide or vaseline to coat yourself in, or you can also get some nipple guards for those that suffer with this.

  4. Puddle dodge

    For as long as you can, you want to keep your feet dry. A wet shoe/sock/foot is one that is likely to blister.
    Jumping into the first puddle you see might be a real “macho” thing to do, especially when the sentence “well, they are going to get wet anyway” follows it, but honestly, I’d rather spend most of my run with “slightly wet” feet than “soaked” feet. My feet will always blister when wet, so I personally steer clear. But then I’m also a bit of a wimp and don’t like having wet, cold feet!

  5. Mind your footing

    In the wet, there will be wet leaves, wet drains, wet floors and of course the grippy soles on your shoes will also be wet.
    All this adds up to a disaster if you aren’t careful, so keep your eyes pealed for where your feet are landing.
    Wet drains are my nemisis, almost once a year one will catch me by surprise and I’ll slide across it, I’ve not yet been brought down by one… Let’s hope this luck continues.
    Also, on the subject of leaves, especially during the Autumn in the UK, avoid leaves on grass as much as possible, not for the potential slip hazard… But the potential present a local dog may have left underneath that an owner might not have gotten round to collecting… A “friend” has done this one before..!

  6. I got a feeling…

    Always remember that post run in the rain feeling of being so damn awesome – it stays with you for a fair few hours post run!

    Although, do be careful, don’t run in a Thunderstorm or in high winds, as good as that post run feeling is, it isn’t quite so great when you have it in the back of an ambulance – although neither me nor my “friends” have ever experienced that one..!


Post run:

It’s important for you to change asap into warm dry clothes. First place I head after a cold, wet run is to the shower, even if I can’t quite get in it, the steam from the warm water is enough to start to gradually raise my body temperature.

No shower?

Make sure you have packed a towel for post run events – towel off the rain and get into those dry clothes. Then go off and find a place selling warm drinks (or have your own in a flask) to start lifting that core temperature back up (if you need it of course).

Then there’s what to do with your footwear post run – whatever you do don’t just whack them in the washing machine (I can name a handful of people who have done this and the result isn’t great unless you like a deformed shoe). Also, avoid the temptation to just pop them near the radiator as this can and most likely will affect the foam and the shape of the shoe.

What you can do however is stuff them with newspaper if you still have one in the home, or just leave them in a warm room to dry, mine usually dry up overnight unless they’ve been totally soaked (another reason to avoid jumping in every puddle!)


The hard part is always getting started, so worst case scenario, tell yourself you’ll head out for 5 minutes and see how you feel after warming up – chances are you’ll start enjoying it (or enduring it) once you get going.

And once you can handle running in the rain once, you’ll be looking forward to the rain coming on the next run!

Enjoy, and make sure if you enjoyed this piece, give it a share on Social Media via the buttons below:

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