5 Tips for Running in the Rain

Keep these tips in mind so you can stay safe when clocking kilometres in wet weather.


Sometimes, it can start raining at the most inconvenient time — like just before you head out for a run, in the middle of a run, or on race day. Instead of opting to run indoors, it’s smart to get used to running in different weather conditions. After all, if it rains come race day, you’ll still have to get out there.

To make it more manageable, we turned to Chad Schiffman, Ironman finisher, marathon runner and a personal trainer for a few tips to help you master running in the rain, whether it be for a training run or a future race.

1. Check the Weather
“I’ve been caught in the rain when lightning has happened, and it is quite intimidating,” Schiffman tells Runner’s World. So, it’s best to check the weather before you head out and ensure there’s no chance of lightning within a 15-kilometre radius.

2. Wear Bright Shoes and a Reflective Top
Another thing to consider before heading out is picking the right apparel, like a running-specific rain jacket with wicking capabilities, Schiffman says. Also, “if you’re prone to [chafing], you may want to carry a small thing of lube or something similar, like Vaseline packets, just in case.”

While running in the rain, visibility is key. Not only do you want to be seen, but you also want to see clearly. For this reason, Schiffman says he wears a hat with a brim and clear sunglasses when it rains to avoid water getting in his eyes.

Also, save your all-black running clothes for another time, and instead, wear bright shoes or a reflective top. “I would just want to make sure that I had something that would increase my visibility just in case it did start raining,” Schiffman says.

3. Wear Shoes Fit for the Rain
Running with soaking-wet feet can lead to painful blisters; to avoid this, wear shoes with the proper drainage, says Schiffman. But if you’re not willing to invest in a new pair of shoes or would rather stick to the pair you’ve got, you can also treat your shoes with water-repellant spray or use trail-running shoes.

4. Leave Your Headphones at Home
For those of us who like to listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or music while clocking kilometres, this tip can be hard to follow. But leaving your electronics at home can be a great practice for race day, “for example, being in the Ironman series and similar races, I’ve learned some events don’t allow headphones, so I leave them at home,” shares Schiffman.

And for safety reasons, running with fewer distractions is best because rain can drown out the sounds of cars passing by. So, consider turning off the tunes while you run or even leaving your phone behind and tracking your run with just your GPS watch.

5. Be Mindful of Your Running Form
While running in the rain, be mindful of your running mechanics and consider how you may need to adjust your approach to finish your run safely. Schiffman prefers to focus on shortening his stride and picking up his cadence to avoid overreaching his leg and possibly slipping or sliding out. “I’ve had some good run times in the rain. And I don’t know if it’s because I just focus on my foot strike and then tune in the form,” he says.

Finally, keep in mind it’s important to plan your run or race carefully: Monitor the weather, check your gear, plan your route, and adjust your approach accordingly. Above all else, be safe and have fun!

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