Running in the rain can be awesome. But it can also suck. Here’s three reasons why:
There are specific aspects about running in the rain that I truly hate. Wet and yucky vegetation, chafing, and wet rock are all part of the trials of running in this kind of weather. But with some strategies (and proper gear) you can turn what could be considered challenging weather conditions into a remarkably fun experience. Below I’ll list a few wet weather obstacles, and ways to overcome them. Of course if you have any strategies, feel free to shoot me an email telling me your side of things.
Problem 1: Wet and Yucky Vegetation.
Those of y’all who have run with me in the Austin Dirt Runners group know that I don’t mind a bit of brush or foliage on my runs, at least in normal circumstances. But rainy weather makes the minor nuisance of vegetation into Nature’s own Chinese water torture that soaks your clothes and feels disgusting. To me, the sensation of having wet branches caressing my bare skin is a horror that I can only equate to the experience of sharing a seat with an unshowered passenger on a Greyhound bus.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution for this problem: Throw on a rain jacket like the Arcteryx Norvan, (or a water-resistant jacket like the Houdini air) and you have clothing that protects your upper body. If it’s cold enough, wear tights like the Patagonia Peak Mission Tights to protect your legs; if it’s a summer shower wear long socks or compression socks. This should help you avoid most of the skin crawling tingles of wet leaves and grass.
I’m sure everyone has experienced that unique feeling of chafing. It makes my skin feel like it’s on fire. And my chafing gets worse in wet weather, when my skin gets macerated and more sensitive. Oftentimes after a long and wet run, my inner thighs look like they picked a fight with a rabid raccoon and lost.
Luckily, there’s a solution (at least partially) for this as well. I’m a big fan of Sportshield anti chafe roll-on gel. It’s better than other chafing creams (like Bodyglide) because it’s silicone-based and not water-based; this means that it won’t wash off as quickly as the other anti-chafe stuff. Which means more miles that I can run before my butt cheeks start to hate me. Sportshield is really good stuff and you should try it out!
3. Wet Rock Dangers
One evening not long ago, I was testing out a pair of road shoes and I decided to test them out on a bit of trail while I was running (I often make dumb decisions like this). It was drizzling outside, but it wasn’t really raining. Still, the minute I hit a patch of wet rock, I slipped and fell flat on my butt, which promptly bruised and hurt for days.
Wet rock is one of the most dangerous obstacles on hill country trails, and at least for me it’s the leading cause of falls when I run. That’s why in rainy weather it’s especially important to have trail shoes with sticky rubber that can grip better on wet and smooth surfaces. Most road shoes (and even some trail shoes) are not good at sticking to wet rock. That’s why it’s important to go to your local store and ask for shoes that can handle this kind of terrain. Models like the La Sportiva Mutant and the Hoka One One EVO Mafate have rubber outsoles that are adept at finding traction on the slippery stuff, and they’ll give you grip in all conditions. If you’re a person who, like me, has slipped quite a bit on this kind of stuff, I’d suggest visiting the store and checking out options that will give you security on this terrain, or check out our selection of shoes by clicking the box below.
Running in wet weather can be a challenge; however with the proper mindset and gear it can actually be a really fun time. Forests and trails completely change in the rain, you just have to make sure you’re prepared for it. What’s your wet weather strategy?