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Tips for running in the rain

5 key tips for racing in the rain

What to do before, during & after, if your running event is in the rain.

Racing in the rain isn’t on most people’s wish list. While we can’t control the weather, we can control how we adapt and react to it. Here are five top tips for before, during and after, running in the rain.

(Also featuring how I got turfed out of a tent to make way for a bin…)

Before the event

1. Lube

Why? To stop chafing.

Do this even if you’ve worn your kit before (and ideally you have tested it to see if it rubs you). Sometimes a particular type or amount of rain, or maybe just having washed your kit for the 1,000th time, or maybe just because, will mean it starts to chafe you with no warning.

So prepare for the worst. A few seconds adding lube (or anti-friction cream) can save you painful minutes of screaming in the shower afterwards. Trust me, it’s at least as bad as that sounds.

I use BodyGlide. Lots of people use Vaseline.

Where should I lube?

Anywhere there are

  • seams on your kit
  • potential rubbing between your kit & your skin
  • potential rubbing of your skin on skin

Top areas are under the arms, waistbands & between the legs, on feet if you’re prone to blisters. Ladies, I’d add round sports bra seams.

An extra note on men’s nipples…

One for the men, as ladies should be saved by their sports bras. To avoid blood streaking down your shirt, you can lube as above, or for better protection, tape over with micropore tape or plasters.

2. Bin bag

Why? Keep warm & dry on the start line, but don’t overheat on the run.

The bigger the event, the earlier they’ll get you to hand in your kit. You’ll get hot while you’re running, so wear a bin bag over your race kit before the start, rather than run in a jacket and overheat and have to run with it flapping round your waist.

Like the runners, race organisers like to hope their event will be dry, so there isn’t usually much cover before, except for Pros & VIPs! We sheltered in a recycling station pre Chicago marathon til we were unceremoniously ejected into the rain so the bins could enjoy their shelter in peace.

Before being ejected to make way for a bin…

Just make head and arm holes in the bin sack & you can tear it off super hero style (for some added pre race power visualisation) just before the start. A couple of times when I’ve had a long wait before a major event in heavy rain, I’ve upgraded and bought ponchos with a handy hood.

Races usually organise for any disposed items to be cleared up. If you wear old clothes to do the same job, these are usually donated to charity.

During the run

What to wear to run in the rain

3. Wear a cap

Why? Keep water out of your eyes

I hardly ever wear a cap, but find it really useful for keeping heavy rain out of my eyes. Then you can focus on running rather than seeing.

4. Wear tighter fitted clothing

Why? Less flapping, weight and chafing.

I like to wear more form fitting clothing in the rain. The less excess material on your shorts or top, the less chance of it rubbing you, annoying you from flapping and the less weight from rain to carry round.  You’re going to get wet.  Most people make the mistake of wearing too many clothes and overheating in a non-breathable jacket, or running in more heavy clothes.  Make sure the layer closest to your body is technical fabric, and if it’s cold and windy, add a wind-resistant layer.  I like a gilet that you can unzip if you get warm.

Cap, gilet & close-fitting clothing

After the run

5. Post race bag tips

Why? Get warm fast

Make sure you’ve packed dry kit for after.  Change into this as quickly as you can, to avoid getting too cold once you stop.

Pro tip – put your dry kit in a plastic bag, just in case your kit bag gets wet, then using this to put your wet kit into, so it doesn’t soak everything else.

I also like to have some savlon to use, just in case I have still got some chafing somewhere.

I hope those tips help you run as comfortable and well as possible in the rain. Let me know below if you have any other tips. GOOD LUCK

You might also like…

My race checklist to make sure you have everything you need, especially if like most people, your brain doesn’t function normally from some pre race nerves, making it all too easy to leave your bin sack, or even trainers, behind!

If you’d like to wish someone good luck or congratulations in their event, see my tips for runners and spectators or my gift guide for runners.

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