I've ran in the rain before (not heavy) and the main thing I dealt with was soaked socks/shoes. When I got home after the race and took my shoes off my feet where prunes and very pale! Gross.
So here are some tips!
By: Jenny Hadfield
- Invest in a large trash compactor garbage bag and punch a hole for your head in the bottom (very important). Consider it a Halloween costume and a solid way to stay dry pre-race. Or, you can go with a smaller cinch bag for a better look and style – I once ran half a marathon in a white bag to stay dry (with arm holes of course).
- Wear a hat with a visor to keep the rain out of your eyes and a pair of running gloves that you can easily stuff into your shorts if your hands get too hot. Accessorize with a shower cap for the start to complete your costume (looks funny but keeps your head dry).
- Wear a waterproof jacket like the Marmot Precip to keep you dry and still offer breathability. There are a lot of waterproof breathable jackets out there in the lightweight category. If you’re going to try something new for race day, this would be a good way to go. That, or wear the white garbage bag to keep your core dry (as you can always remove this as you run). Since the temperatures look to be the same Saturday, you could test out the jacket combo and see if it’s too much – if it is, go with the garbage bag and a long sleeve top. Everybody’s body is different and what works for me may not for you. I tend to run cold, especially in the rain – while my friend runs in shorts even in the snow.
- That brings us to tights. There are a lot of options and if there are in fact high winds, cold and rain, I’d go with long tights. If it is rainy and in the 50s, a pair of capris/knickers can work well or shorts if your body runs warm. Again, go with what works for you. It is important to dress for the temperatures, not just the rain to avoid overheating.
- Lube your feet to seal the moisture out. When I was adventure racing through the jungles of Borneo and Fiji, I used an inexpensive product called Bag Balm. It aids in preventing blisters and your feet from pruning in the wet conditions. Others also use Bodyglide or Vaseline for the same purpose. Lube your body for chafing and in the event of a mid-racing chafing incident, stop at medical and lube again with Vaseline.
- Pack several instant heat packs for your hands and core post race. If you suffer from cold hands and body temperature in these conditions, having heat packs inside your gloves keeps them warm for the duration. Pack a few extra for post race to keep you warm at a time when your body core temp can easily drop. I prefer using a ThermaCare heat wrap and stick it to my lower back post race.
- Pack warm, dry clothes, socks, thermal hat and shoes in your gear check bag with a small umbrella and a towel. Include a few garbage bags to put your wet race clothes in post race. Right after you finish change and slap that heat wrap on your back to avoid getting chilled and hypothermic.
- When you arrive home or at the hotel, remove the soles of your running shoes and stuff your shoes with newspaper or paper towel to dry.
- Running by effort rather than pace as a headwind changes everything. Avoid getting caught up in finishing for a specific pace – that can quickly get you off track for your goal to finish strong.
- Draft off other runners. Consider it a social opportunity and work together like cyclists on the course. If the wind is in front, run right behind another runner. If it is to the side, run just off their hip to the side. Work together like the elite runners do and trade off leading and drafting. It’s a fun, social way to run through a tough day.