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Running in the rain

Posted Mar 08 2013 9:15am
Not just any rain here, but freezing rain! I love running in warm rain but this no way! I am registered for a 10 Mile race tomorrow and the forecast is for upper 20s/low 30s and rain, seriously? Finally not terribly cold and we get rain, come on mother nature. There is already talk of cancelling the race if the conditions on the roads are icy but better be prepared. I have run in similar conditions one other time; a half marathon years ago and the result- my only DNF. It sucked, I was cold and miserable and and about mile 7 had enough and headed back to the hot tub at the hotel.

I found it funny that someone actually conducted a study on running in cold rain and there results: Running in cold rain is miserable! Really, didn't need a study to tell me that. The results did find that with the lower body temperature there was higher oxygen consumption and higher plasma lactate levels meaning an increase in energy demand ( Source ). Not a reason to skip a cold rainy run, but reason to know that race performance will likely be decreased.

Ways to make running in freezing rain better:

Dress in layers: Stay warm and dry with a wicking inner layer and water resistant outer layer. But don't overdress or you will overheat and just have multiple wet layers covering you.

Wear a hat: You hair/head will stay dry and a visor will keep the rain out of your face and make it easier to see while running.

Wear a garbage bag: To stay dry at the start line (especially if it will be a long wait) cut a head hole and wear a bag that can be easily ripped off once the race starts.

Prevent chafing: Te water will only add to the problem so make sure to use that BodyGlide, Aquaphor or AntiChafe. And don't forget the feet especially between the toes, wet feet will get sore and blisters without something, yes I know this first hand :(

Warm up in old shoes: Change into dry shoes right before the race so you feet can at least start out dry.

Have warm/dry clothes ready for afterwards: You will only get colder from the rain and sweat if you stay this way. Make sure to have something warm and dry to change into and don't forget new socks and shoes. Take a sock, fill it with rice or dry beans, microwave until warm, then wrap your clothes & a towel around it and put the whole bundle into a cooler or a thick blanket.

Don't forget a warm drink too. 

After the run Dry your shoes: Take out the insoles and set aside, stuff the shoe with newspaper. You may need to change in a time or two when it gets soaked but your shoes will be dry and ready to go for the next run.

Run for fun and to feel tough but skip the PR goal: Te run will take more out of you and is unlikely to result in a perfect race so just have fun and accept it will likely not be the best race.


Are you motivated to get out there and run in freezing rain! I'm working on convincing myself this will be fun, but honestly crossing my fingers that the race is cancelled! Maybe I will pin on my bib and hit the nice, dry treadmill instead. Okay enough negative talk, I can do this (maybe the forecast is wrong). Any other advice for running in freezing rain?

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday  And don't forget to check out and enter the Spring to Fitness Giveaway . I teamed up with 10 other heath/fitness bloggers and we have some great prizes.


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