Rain can derail your outdoor plans. Plan an outdoor event and you’ll be watching the forecast like a hawk and probably planning a backup indoor venue too. But what if instead of a fancy dinner party, you’ve scheduled a long run, something on the order of an hour or two of running, to prepare for an upcoming race, but now that you’ve cleared your calendar and gotten yourself mentally ready, the rain drops start? Do you go anyway? Or do you reschedule the run and head for an impromptu date with Netflix?
I’ve changed my run plans because of rain, and I’ve also cut a long run short because it started raining. But what if you decide to run through the puddles and keep going? Can you? Should you? What are the consequences? What are the benefits?
Can you run in the rain? Yes! That idea that we probably all grew up with that if we stayed outside in the rain, we would catch a cold, is probably just something our moms said because they knew we hated being sick just as much as punishment. The cold is spread by a virus, not exposure to water. If water caused colds, we would sneeze every time we took a shower.
Should you run in the rain? This is a matter of personal preference. If it’s a light rain, without the lighting and thunder, a little rain might be ok. But if it’s storming outside and you’re running in dangerous conditions, where trees might lose branches and visibility is low so drivers can’t see well, then doing anything on the street might be a bad idea.
What do I need to do differently? What are the consequences? If the rain starts when I am running, I take off my Nike Fitness watch and put it in my pocket or fuel belt. Not because anything has happened to it in the past, but I like to protect rather than repair my electronics. In the rain, I take my glasses off and stash them in my fuel belt because when they get wet, they fog up and objects are closer than they appear. If I know in advance that it might rain, I wear different running shoes. Most of my running shoes are light, fabric material on the front so as soon as a few raindrops hit, they get soaked inside. Instead, I wear my Nike shoes with the rubber fronts that give my feet better waterproofing,
What are the benefits? Some of my best mile runs have been done in the rain. That’s because there’s no dawdling, no stopping to see the sights. If I am running in the rain, I am just running, and running as fast as I can to get out of the rain. No GPS watch, no music, just the
not so gentle sounds of running shoes splashing through the puddle at my feet.