Tips for Running in the Rain

Tips for running in the rain |

There’s a joke in my family.

If I sign up for a marathon, there’s a 99.9% chance it will rain.

I’ve run 3 marathons and they have all been in the rain.

There was the borderline snow/rain conditions for my first at Vermont City.  There was the time of being soaked even before the start at the Honolulu Marathon.  And then there was sideways blowing rain and chilly temps of Boston (although the 2018 race was way worse!).

Clearly, the odds are not in my favor.  Maybe that’s why I have zero desire to run a road marathon anytime soon?

With my history of running long distance races in the rain, I always chuckle when others say they love running in the rain.  I do too, just as long as it’s a warm, gentle mist.

The odds of it being a warm, gentle rain?

Not too good especially here in New England where fall, winter and spring rains usually are in colder temps of 30s and 40s.

It’s also not too fun to be running in the rain for a good length of time. Believe me, there’s nothing peaceful and uplifting about running in the rain for hours.  Even if it is a warm rain, you are going to get cold at some point. Slopping in soaked shoes that weight 10,000 pounds is not pretty and definitely not peaceful!

That being said, I’m still going to run in the rain. As the saying goes, there’s no bad weather conditions, there’s only bad gear. So here’s what to wear when Mother Nature opens the skies on your next run.


There’s nothing worse than having rain pellets sting you in the face and eyes.  Having a wide brim hat will help protect your face and you’ll be able to see better so maybe you can avoid some of the puddles.  I usually wear whatever baseball style hat I have around.

If it’s a colder run (30s or so), I’ll add a headband to give my ears some warmth.

Or you can toss a shower cap over your hat as we saw so many do in Boston 2018. I’ve heard it works really well!

Tips for running in the rain |


I’ve tried many different jackets and haven’t really found an absolutely perfect running jacket for the rain. Jackets that are water proof work well in keeping you dry from the rain (although not completely dry) but don’t breathe at all.  I find I sweat more than ever which still makes for a soaked shirt.  The jacket is still a good idea to keep your core temp up to hold in body heat.

I tend to reach for my Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket (affiliate link)for wet runs. The hood is awesome and there are built in flip mitts for keeping hands dry, one place that tends to get really cold on me.

If you are running a race, a trash bag or emergency poncho works well too.  Just ask Laura from Mommy, Run Fast.  She’s run Boston twice in a poncho!

Wicking Socks

No matter how much you try to avoid puddles, your feet are going to get wet so it’s best to wear socks that will at least keep your feet a little warm.  I reach for wool which is great for keeping some warmth in.  And they don’t weigh a thousand pounds when wet.

Lube Up

My eyes can’t un-see the bloody shirts of men or the gnarly open wounds on women’s legs running in my rainy first marathon. It looked like a battlefield! When things get wet, things rub. Rubbing leads to chafing. Chafing leads to pain.  Pain is not good.  Lube up generously with Vaseline or Aquaphor beforehand on your legs, sports bra straps, armpits and every other place that can get rubbed raw.

If I’m running an hour or less in the rain, I won’t lube up.  Anything more, the lube is coming out.

Tips for running in the rain | happyfitmama.comRunning in the rain with snow on the ground.  Fun stuff!

A Good Attitude

I don’t enjoy running in the rain but going into a race or run with a horrible attitude does not help the situation. Rain isn’t going to stop me from heading out for a run or running a race. Focusing on what I can control swings the pendulum from Negative Nancy to Positive Polly.  I can’t change the weather but I can change my attitude. It’s best to embrace it and just have fun with it.

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

Running in the rain – love it, hate it, tolerate it?

What’s your essential running in the rain piece?

14 comments on “Tips for Running in the Rain

  1. We don’t get too much rain here, but I had one year (2000 lol) that it rained in every race I ran! Especially the LA marathon, where we were soaked to the toes before it even started, temps were in the 40s, and I ended up with hypothermia at the end. Though I did run a 3:33, so there’s that. And, according to your list, I did everything wrong! Well, except the good attitude, I had that. And I had a girlfriend, who helped me keep that good attitude.
    Debbie recently posted..The Top 5 Marathon Mistakes (and how to avoid them)My Profile

  2. Generally I don’t mind the rain, and sometimes it’s rather pleasant – in part because the paths & trails are a bit quieter. The challenge is when it’s cold too. Cold rain soaks through gloves, and then gloves aren’t especially effective. Trying to find some lightweight waterproof gloves before the cool, wet days begin in earnest here.

  3. While I don’t love running in the rain for a long time, I don’t mind it too much. You have given some great tips here – especially the hat! The only long race I have ever run where it POURED the entire time was a trail 25k that I ran with my hubby. The trails were like little streams by the end of the race, and we were soaked and chilled to the bone. I changed EVERYTHING (down to my underpants and bra) in the car while hubs held up a towel! My teeth were chattering!
    Laurie recently posted..Give to Everyone Who AsksMy Profile

  4. I ran the Chicago Marathon this weekend and I only had that last one lol. I’ve run in the rain before and I use a hat but I was just silly and didn’t bring it with me. I even packed it! However, I knew that there was nothing I could do so I just chose to smile and have fun. I ended up with a PR so that worked!
    Virjinia @ With Purpose and Kindness recently posted..How I Ran A Strong Marathon!My Profile

  5. I think you ran the same Vt. City as my brother did — he still talks about the crazy weather! I’ve had two rain runs: a 5M which was fun and a Half Marathon which wasn’t exactly, but taught me if I could do that I could do anything. See also, my first 5K at 11F.
    I had a good-ish running coat, a Columbia one. My biggest issue is my glasses if I have to commute to the race. If I just run to start I’ll leave them home

  6. Great running tips. I will definitely going to implement these tips. I have bookmarked it for future references. Thanks for sharing this article.

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