There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Not everyone like the idea of running in the rain but it can help you avoid many missed workouts. Is it safe and how can it become more fun?
Even some of the most experienced runners sometimes skip their workout sessions because of the rain. This is unfortunate because with some of the right habits and clothing running in the rain can definitely be safe.
That being said there are also situations where it may be better to swap your running sessions with a different workout.
Is it safe to run in the rain?
The first obvious but important point is that rain does not always mean the same thing for everyone. There is a big difference between a few millimeters and an actual thunderstorm with lightning. If there is a thunderstorm going on you likely want to postpone your run.
Another important aspect is the temperature outside. Water cools you down faster than air of the same temperature. So running in the rain at 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) will cool you down a lot faster than running without rain at the same temperature.
If it is cold and raining going for a run may increase your risk of getting sick. Make sure you wear suited clothing to avoid this.
Running in the rain will impair your vision of your running surface at least a small amount. This makes it easier to take a wrong step, especially on uneven surfaces.
In short, running in the rain can be both safe and unsafe depending on things like how hard it is raining, where you want to run, and what gear you use. If you get sick and injured easily it may be smarter to search for alternatives to running in the rain.
If it does not rain often where you live you may choose to give up one workout to avoid getting injured or sick which can lead to many more missed workouts. If you live in a rainy area you can invest in a treadmill, gym subscription, do workouts at home, or invest in good running gear.
8 Tips for running in the rain
There are still many things that you can to do make your run in the rain safer and more enjoyable.
1. Be visible
Running in the rain does not only impair your own vision but also the vision of the people around you. Especially if you run on roads these people are in vehicles like cars. You want to make sure you are visible to them.
To make sure this is the case you can get reflective running gear which comes in the form of reflective vests and reflective straps. Running clothes also often have reflective material built-in. You may also benefit from investing in a running lamp both for being more visible and better being able to see where you run.
2. Wear the right clothing
Just like for regular workouts, different clothes can be better or worse for running in the rain.
Chances are that even if you wear a rain jacket, some rain will get through. Some types of clothing absorb more water than others. You likely want the types of clothes that absorb less water. A fabric you want to avoid in your clothing (that includes socks) is cotton.
Another aspect of good clothing for running is the rain is keeping you at the right temperature. As mentioned before cold rain will cool you down faster than air of the same temperature. This can mean wearing warmer clothes than you normally would when it doesn’t rain.
On the other hand, it is also possible to overdo it and wear too many layers which can lead to overheating. Finding the right clothing for the right weather circumstances may take some trial and error.
3. Prepare dry clothing for after the run
Even if you wear great rain running gear you will likely get at least a little wet. During your running session you will produce heat to counteract this but once you stop running your heat production will be a lot less. To stop the rain from cooling you down even more dry clothes will help.
This is especially relevant if you are running something like a 5k race remotely where you don’t have your entire wardrobe with you. As anyone who has ever run in the rain can tell you, even just a pair of dry socks can make a big difference.
4. Protect your electronics
Although you can also run without, having a piece of electronic equipment like a fitness tracker, running watch, or your phone with you can be useful.
The devices more specialized for running are often waterproof but certainly in the case of your phone, you may want to invest in a waterproof phone holder.
5. Use the right shoes
Your choice of shoes can also make a big difference in both safety and comfort when running, especially in the rain. First of all running shoes with deeper groves will provide you with more grip and in turn reduce the risk of slipping.
Especially if you plan to run on uneven surfaces it may be worth it to invest in trail running shoes. This type of running shoe is made to be more sturdy and offer more foot stability and protection.
There are waterproof running shoes that can make sense in the right situation. The downside of these is that once water gets in them the water won’t be able to go out. So if you can avoid deep puddles during your runs waterproof running shoes may be a good choice for you.
If your shoes get wet from the rain you can dry them after your running session by putting pieces of newspaper in them.
6. Be prepared
You can not predict everything that can happen so it is smart to make choices that prepare you for a wide variety of events. Especially when running in the rain, the risk of something happening inevitably increases.
For running this comes down to having a phone or anything else that you can use to contact help if needed. Other navigational tools like a compass or a fitness watch with GPS can be useful in certain situations too.
7. Consider changing training
You don’t have to do the exact same training as usual when it is raining. This applies to your running surface, running distance, and training speed.
Instead of choosing a forest trail, you may go running on the streets (make sure you wear reflective gear). You may run want to get in a workout at any cost, even if it is a lot shorter than your regular 5-mile run. And lastly, you may choose lower-tempo jogging instead of the HIIT training you usually do.
In short, when the circumstances change it can make a lot of sense to change the details of your running plan too.
8. Find a running buddy
Finding a running buddy can be helpful for 2 main reasons. First of all, if something happens to one of you two, the other person can get help if need.
Secondly, it can be slightly harder to motivate yourself to run in the rain compared to running under clear skies. The accountability of having a running buddy can help you push through anyway.
Gear for running in the rain
The right gear can really make running in the rain a lot more comfortable and safer. Check out these pieces of running equipment to see if it makes sense to invest in them.
- Running rain jacket: The first and most straightforward equipment for running in the rain is a running rain jacket. Keep in mind that these can get very warm. (check online prices)
- Waterproof running shoes: Waterproof running shoes are mostly if you know you can avoid getting any water in them. If water does get in waterproof running shoes it will not be able to get out. That means a route with many puddles may not be suited for this type of shoes. (check online prices)
- Trail running shoes: Especially if you plan to run on uneven surfaces in the rain it may be smart to invest in trail running shoes. This type of running shoe is more sturdy, more stable, and more protective. A pair of good shoes can make the difference between being out for weeks with an injury and just sticking to your workout plan (check online prices)
- Quick-dry running clothing: Even with a good rain jacket your clothes will likely get water on them when running in the rain. Quick-dry clothing absorbs less water compared to other materials like cotton. This makes your run more comfortable. (check online prices)
- Waterproof socks: Waterproof socks are helpful running equipment for avoiding blisters and discomfort from having wet feet. Do keep in mind that these types of socks also tend to not breathe that well so you may want to avoid wearing them in warm weather. (check online prices)
- Reflective gear: The rain will impair vision for both you and the people around you. Especially if you run in areas with a lot of traffic you want to invest in reflective gear. It is a small investment for avoiding a possibly very negative event. (check online prices)
- Running hat: The sensation of rain dripping off your forehead into your eyes is one most people like to avoid. Running with a hat is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your eyes more protected from the rain. (check online prices)
- Anti-chafing balm: Chafing, both in dry weather and in the rain, can be a problem when running. You can prevent this with some anti-chafing balm. (check online prices)
- Waterproof headphones: Most headphones are not made for running in the rain. If you like to listen to music while running waterproof headphones can be a great investment. (check online prices)
All in all, these are some relatively inexpensive ways to make your runs in bad weather a lot more comfortable and safe. Of course some equipment will make more sense than others depending on a wide variety of factors.
Finally, you can also consider investing in a treadmill or gym subscription if you want to keep consistent with your running plan but don’t want to run in the rain.