Fool In The Rain

Jun 9, 2013 by

Fool In The Rain

 I’ll run in the rain till I’m breathless
When I’m breathless I’ll run till I drop, hey
The thoughts of a fool’s kind of careless
I’m just a fool waiting on the wrong block, oh yeah
Fool In The Rain, Led Zepplin

As the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea moved through South Carolina the other day, my son and I headed out for a run in the rain.  What a difference a few years can make.

Flashback: February 2009

The day before my first race, the weatherman delivered good news and bad news.  The good news?  The late February race had a forecast of pretty warm weather for that time of year, in the fifties.  The bad news?  The warm weather was bringing an almost 100% chance of rain for the race start.   Having just started running over the previous eight weeks, I had become fairly adjusted to running in the winter cold.  However, I was totally unprepared for running in the rain. So, here it was, the day before, and I was frantically searching Google for ways to deal with rain.

The next day, the weatherman actually got it right.  It did pour down rain, and I had my first run in the pouring rain.  Not only was I now hooked on running, I was hard core.

So why should you run in the rain? 

Here are a few reasons:

Image courtesy of Peter Mooney @

1. They rarely cancel races for rain.  If you haven’t run in the rain, how do you know if you’re prepared for a race in the rain?

2. It makes you tougher mentally.  A few weeks before my last marathon, I was scheduled to run my final long run.   The only window of opportunity I had for the weekend run was 8:00-11:00 Saturday morning.   Unfortunately, it was 40 degrees and raining hard.  I went anyway.   After 3 hours and 18 miles, I was soaked and nunb from the cold, but I was ready for the marathon.

3. It is fun and makes the neighbors shake their heads. It might even make you feel like a kid again.


Here are some tips for dealing with the rain as a runner:

1.  Use BodyGlide on your feet.  Remember that frantic search of Google I mentioned earlier?  BodyGlide was the discovery that day.  I works well in many other places, too, not just feet in the rain.

2. Experiment with socks. I feel thin are best. Injinji toe socks are my favorite. That 3 hour rain soaked run I mentioned earlier?  Injinis.  No blisters.  Amazing.

3. Try trail running in the rain.  If the trails are wooded enough and the rain is on the light side, the trees may keep a lot of the rain off.

4. Check radar, if possible, and don’t run in a thunderstorm. I hope this is self-explanatory.

5. If you choose to run with storms in the area, take a phone with you.  I misjudged radar speed last summer and was caught a few miles from home in a lightning storm and had to call in the home rescue squad to come pick me up.  (On the bright side, I had an impressive speed workout on the way to meet the car!)

6. Make a poncho. On race day, warming up in the rain is not fun.  Make a poncho out of a trash bag and toss it aside right before the start.

7.  Another race day warm up tip: If the parking logistics work for you,  warm up using a backup pair of shoes, then change socks and shoes as close to race start as possible.

I hope I have convinced you to at least try running in the rain.



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