Reader to Reader: Running in the Rain

What should you wear to run in the rain? Here are your suggestions


Posted: 29 May 2007
by Catherine Lee


This week’s questioner needs your advice on kitting himself out on a rainy day – that way, he’ll have no excuse to forego a training run on account of the weather. How do you tog yourself out if the clouds are looming?

"I'm not keen on running in the rain. If it’s raining before I go out I probably won’t go. I just run in my normal shorts, tee and top, but get soaked. I tried with a lightweight waterproof, but I sweat more and actually ended up wetter on the inside than out. I also wear glasses - my eyes allergic to contacts and I’m not allowed to wear them - and glasses and rain don't go together... Any tips on gear if you enjoy the rain when you’re running?"Captain Calamity


Your best answers

  • Create a natural moisture-wicking layer
    Rub a bit of baby oil on your arms and legs to stop the water from sitting on you - it just rolls off instead! – Simon 7
  • Choose your fabrics carefully
    What sort of T-shirt do you use? It’s best to avoid cotton, it just soaks up the water. There are plenty of synthetic tops you can get that don't hold the water. – Wallsend Wanderer
  • Ditch the sleeves
    Get a waterproof gilet then you won't overheat but will have the benefit of some protection from the elements. – Pit Stop Crew

  • Co-ordinate a few choice layers
    I wear my Goretex® jacket (which is quite big and baggy) and just a sports bra underneath. The jacket keeps me dry but allows me to sweat a bit while keeping the air circulating. Thing is, if you get too hot, you can't just take the jacket off without causing major traffic problems! – Fat Fyes
  • Keep your feet toasty...
    If your feet are prone to blisters or feeling cold in the rain, try lambswool socks like Hilly® or Running Bear® (usually sold as off-road socks for loonies who run in bogs). Your feet won't stay dry but they will be warm and the socks won't rub. – blimeythatsbendy
  • ... and squelch-free
    Sealskinz® are great for keeping your feet dry in heavy rain or when you’re racing off-road in water-logged conditions. – jason X
  • Technical kit needn’t break the bank
    If money is an issue, keep your eye on the Aldi and Lidl special offers. You can get some quite serviceable running tops, shorts etc. there from time to time. They’re certainly more comfortable than cotton. If you're not running from or to home, take a towel and dry clothes with you - it's afterwards that you get cold. – DianaD
  • Pop a hat on, and invest in some breathable clothing
    A peaked hat is a good way to keep the water off your face but do buy a lightweight one - if you just grab a baseball hat from JJB or somewhere, as soon as it gets wet it will feel like you’re running with a lead weight on your head. Try and look out for a waterproof top that has air vents built into it. I bought one from Decathlon and although it was only £35, it actually keeps me pretty dry. There are zipped vents under each arm towards the back and they let air in. – Matt Ford 3
  • Secure your specs
    Running in rain is great as there are no midges, less dogs, less chavs, and more moisture to inhale (great for asthmatics like me). Get one of those elastic things to keep your glasses on - you'll need to keep wiping your eyes regularly but that’s not the end of the world. – M62 Steve
  • A little demister can work a treat
    Get yourself down to a motorbike shop and ask for either the spray-on or peely-off-sticking-on mist-free stuff. You might want to rethink the exact phrase you use though... – flyaway
  • Don’t forget to safeguard your gadgets
    If you carry a mobile phone then put it inside something waterproof like a zip food bag to protect it or you might need to go buy a new one like me... – Happycat
  • Of course, you could always...
    Go to the gym and do speed work or whatever on the treadmill! Mind you, splashing through puddles like a big kid can take your mind off those aching legs... – big bad bri
  • ... but probably best not to...
    Skin is waterproof, kit is not. Run naked. There you go, problem solved. – Cath.

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I'm not keen on running in the rain, if its raining before I go out I probably wont go, but if it starts whilst I am out it doesn't really bother me that much...weird hey

But anyway, I just run in my normal shorts Tee and top, but get soaked, tried with a lightweight waterproof, but you sweat more and actually end up wetter on the inside than out...urrrghhh

And Also I wear glasses, eyes allergic to contacts and am not allowed to wear them, so glasses and rain don't go together...

Any tips on gear, inspiration and if you enjoy the rain when your running ?
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:24

Get out there and do it you big jessie.

If its sunny you come back sweaty anyway ?

Just normal tee and shorts is best. Maybe a tecchy cap with peak to keep the rain off your glasses.

And you really dont notice the rain after a bit.
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:28

HE HE HE.....thanks, love the tip...

'Get out there and do it you big jessie'

Superb....

Yes will have to dig out a peak cap, great idea, never thought of that...will try it.


Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:33

I quite like running in the rain actually. Keeps me cool. And no after a bit you dont notice do you. To coin a Yorkshire phrase "you can only get wet once". And of course there are no chavs hanging around to abuse you :-)
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:34

I just wear normal kit - I only use my rain jacket if it's windy.

Once you are wet, you can't get any wetter, and it keeps you nice and cool.

I love the rain.






Just as well, really, living in Scottieland. :o)
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:36

True also...much less oiks throwing paper towels at you...

a peaceful run...hmmm sounds better and better.
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:37

Blimey Nessie, must be a nightmare in the summer...all wet windy and those nasty Midges too...you gota be the toughest on the planet you scotts...not like us sasanaks

Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:39

Stoxy - "you can only get wet once". I've never heard that phrase, especially from my female friends as you can imagine.
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:43

Oh dear coops;-)
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:44

I just wear normal kit and have just invested a water/windproof jacket which has already been mentioned seems to be more useful when it is windy. Although I guess if I was going on a long run in the rain might be worthwhile wearing the waterproof jacket rather get my T-shirt soaked.

Like the idea of a cap though.
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:46

Running in the rain is lovely. There must be a lot of fair-weather runners round my way though. If it's wet and miserable Greenwich Park is really peaceful. And as a bonus, virtually dog-free. Hurrah!
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:47

I love running in the rain... although only really warm spring and summer rain... i'm allergic to winter.

I tend to wear as little as possible when running, so if go out in running shorts and vest normally.. I like the Gore Running range best. I never wear a jacket.. but I never wear a jacket in winter either.. make us tough up north don't u know.. although now i've moved south maybe I'll adapt to the softie ways!
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:54

tips?

go run
get wet
go home
get kit off
have shower
dry off
dress
carry on with life
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 15:55

I wasn't going to go out tonight because it's raiing here, but you've convinced me. Thanks.
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 16:02

I live in Manchester so ignor everyone else - they don't know what rain is.

- Running in rain is great as there are no midges, less dogs, less chavs, more moisture to inhale (great for asthmatics like me)

- Wear your normal trainers (bung them on radiotor to dry after run) normal running / thinck socks, aterproof tracksters/bikesters from Ron Hill, or just weat shorts like me.

- A nice synthetic t shirt is best with a rainproof running jacket if you want.

- Eyes - I don't wear my glasses or lenses in rain but if you can't run without some sort of lens then the cap idea is brilliant. Otherwise get one of those elastic things to keep your glasses on - you'll need to keep wiping your eyes regurly but thats not the end of the world.

Running inn the rain is great - the wetter the better imho.

I can sum all this advice up in one word - ENOY.
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 16:02

I hate it, but can bare it for training runs less than an hour.

over that and constant rain gets you down - to miserable for long slow runs.

so my tip would be if its raining keep the run short and fast (so you dont get cold) and reschedule if you where due a long run.
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 16:09

If you carry a mobile phone then put it inside something waterproof like a zip food bag to protect it or you might need to go buy a new one like I have to:(
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 16:11

You can get splashproof covers for them at Decathlon for about £3.

Alternatively I have pockets in my bottle belt for it which I sometimes use.
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 16:16

I bought a mobile that is waterproof (to a certain extent)...after the rain soaked through my rucksack and drowned my last one.

Posted: 15/05/2007 at 16:20

I can't say I adore running in heavy rain - light rain is okay but more than that I find to be sub-optimal. I do wear a jacket, but I'm also a Jesse!

As for your glasses steaming up, get yerself down to a motorbike shop and ask for either the spray-on or peely-off-sticking-on mist-free stuff. You might want to rethink the exact phrase you use, or oiks throwing things at you would be the least of yer worries. But it works well. If i remember what it's properly called, I'll repost...
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 16:42

Best runs for me are when its raining,it keeps you cool and i personally find it more enjoyable/comfortable when its wet.

Living in scotland rain is never far away... i think it makes the runs i do more interesting.... race days or leading up to a race, i always secretly pray to myself for rain... as i have set most of my best times in wet races.

I remember going out on new years day in a force ten gale,it was pissing down with rain,which turned to snow half way round my run!

My wife thought (and still does) I was mad when i got back with a huge grin on my face declaring..... its a grand day for a run!!!!

Did the Lochness marathon last year and apart from the first 6 miles,it rained constantly for the rest of the race.... and i loved it.

Just got to watch you don't get too cold after you finish, you do cool down pretty quickly,oh and the warm shower once your finished cannot be beaten!

sad.p
Posted: 15/05/2007 at 23:01

Don't run in the rain after dark if you wear glasses, unless your hat keeps the lenses perfectly dry.


Posted: 16/05/2007 at 00:08

Running in the rain is fine unless its really cold and windy and you have already run 20 miles. You could start to suffer from hypothermia then.

My problem is getting out of the door when its raining outside.

Solution if rain is forecast is to get out while its still fine so that you have got a sweat on before the first drops hit you.

BO
Posted: 16/05/2007 at 00:09

Yesterdays run had me up ontop of the downs again, and the wind was blowing the rain horizontally...

beginning of the run was ok, seemed like light rain, as suggested the cap thing worked well to keep the worst of it off my glasses.

But as I climbed more and the protection from tree's and buildings were gone, the wind and rain howled, I was sodden after 30mins in this and found the cap couldn't stop the horizontal rain, couldn't see a thing, clothes felt heavy on my skin...

On return I got straight in a hot shower and what a lovely shower that was...

Still prefer running in the dry...

Typical its lovely this morning
Posted: 16/05/2007 at 07:16

CC - what sort of teeshirt do you use? Its best to avoid cotton, it jsut soaks up the water. There are plenty of synthetic tops you can get that don't hold the water.
Posted: 16/05/2007 at 09:01

I run in my old Deasal yes spelt that way shorts I bought in India, a Cancer research bright blue t-shirt as supplied when I did the 10K cancer runs last year, these are cotton...

Omni 5 shoes with proper ankle sock for running and a Nike copy cap again from the india trip 5 years ago...

hmmm a picture springs to mind of a raggy scruff bag and you would be right
Posted: 16/05/2007 at 09:23

I'm not surprised your clothes felt heavy!

buy some new things that are not cotton for running in the rain. It will be well worth the money
Posted: 16/05/2007 at 13:37

this is what my wife keeps telling me, buy some new running clothes...but I dont like tight fitting lycra type stuff I look like a potato shrink wrapped...
Posted: 16/05/2007 at 14:47

Get a running t shirt from Decathlon for £3.99 and then tell me that running in the rain isn't blissfull stimulation.
Posted: 16/05/2007 at 23:34

Prefer to run in the dry, but I can honestly say I've never missed a run because it's raining.

Light rain, I'll just wear my normal kit and, if I remember, a cap to keep the rain out of my eyes. If it's heavy rain I do wear a breathable jacket which I don't find too bad sweat-wise.

Did a 13 miler a few weeks back in torrential rain. Kitted up in cap and jacket, I felt fine, although my trainers were passed their best after I'd sploshed through puddles and mud along the tow path - Luckily I was due a new pair.

J.x
Posted: 17/05/2007 at 12:16


PSC
get a waterproof gillet like this one then you don't overheat but have the benefit of some protection from the elements. always wear a cap in the rain.
Posted: 17/05/2007 at 12:44

Hi guys

I've pinched this question for Reader to Reader so please keep your suggestions coming!

Thanks

Catherine :o)
Posted: 22/05/2007 at 11:44

I love running in the rain more than anything. If it's a warm day I just wear shorts and a cotton t-shirt and get completely soaked through. Absolute bliss.

It's not nearly as much fun in the cold winter months though. In that case I would recommend a light waterproof jacket.
Posted: 22/05/2007 at 12:44

Where's all the rain? I've run every day this year without getting more than very slightly damp.
Posted: 22/05/2007 at 13:27

1. There are lots of proprietary specs demisters about - opticians will sell you it for a few quid. I agree - a cap is ideal to keep the rain off in the first place.

2. If your feet are prone to blisters or feeling cold in the rain try lambswool based socks like Hilly or Running Bear's (usually sold as off-road socks for loonies who run in bogs) - your feet won't stay dry but they will be warm and the socks won't rub.

3. Sod it - just get wet - you are waterproof. Cold and wet isn't so great, so if you are likely to have to stop/walk/whatever then adjust your kit to the temperature rather than the rain.
Posted: 22/05/2007 at 13:35

Skin is waterproof, kit is not. Run naked.

There you go, problem solved.
Posted: 22/05/2007 at 13:38

Here in the Midlands! A couple of weeks ago I went out for my pre-marathon 22-miler and spent the first hour suffering in the heat, looking hopefully at the large black cloud looming in the distance. About an hour into my run it started - a torrential downpour that soaked me from head to foot and didn't let up for about two hours.

It was fantastic. It felt like a weight had been lifted and I could have carried on forever. Got some very odd looks from passers by though - I don't know what they thought when this grinning, soggy lunatic charged past, and I'm not sure I want to.
Posted: 22/05/2007 at 13:41

CC: Check out the Gore running range of tops, they're not skintight... not really an expert on mens running shorts though, but sure there must be an alternative to your Deasal (lol) shorts..
Posted: 22/05/2007 at 20:16

I'm not particularly keen on running in the rain, or the freezing cold for that matter! Mind you, after the hailstones at Silverstone half mara this year, I may have a rethink cos nothing was worse than that! :-)

Anyway, back to your question....

When in rains in the warmer weather, I'll either stick to my crop top and shorts, or if there's a windchill, I'll stick on capris and a wicking long sleeve top to stop my skin going red. I'll also wear a showerproof baseball cap (Brookes Nightlife or Nike). If it's really bad, then and only then will I put a windproof jacket on, as it can get too warm this time of year. I'll usually put a pair of lightweight gloves on to stop my hands going all red as well!

In the winter, if it's not too cold, long tights and a wicking top with breathable waterproof jacket and gloves do the trick. If it's really cold and raining, the Gore Mythos jacket and long tights are superb. It's around £200 for both, but for me, when doing a 3 hour marathon training run it's definately worth it. This is the best bit of winter kit I've ever bought. I'll stick some gloves on and either a baseball cap or beanie.

To make sure I don't come down with a cold, I get in, strip off, stretch then shower straight away.

I feel the cold something chronic and the weather never stops me going out. If I can do it, anyone can!
Posted: 23/05/2007 at 09:04

At least when you get home that hot bath or shower feels really good! But I know what you mean I don't really like running in the rain.

May be a bit extreme but have you thought about laser eye surgery. I have had it done and now don't have rainy glasses problems :)

x Alex
Posted: 23/05/2007 at 09:08

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