Finally we are seeing real signs of spring. I think we can all agree we are ready for it. The sunshine and nice weather seems to improve everyone’s mood. For me it is also a guarantee of a few things…soccer and baseball game cancellations for my kids, and a LOT of rainy runs.
I admit that up until a year ago I shied away from running in the rain. Normally I would opt to go to the gym and make the miles up another day. I was ok with getting caught in it mid run, but I had a tough time making myself start in it. That is until the Country Music Marathon last April when it poured the whole 26.2 miles! That day I ended up running my fastest time, by a long shot. Now, I am ok to face the rain on most any day, bring it on Mother Nature!
One price you will pay after a rainy run is the very soggy shoes you come home with. Most rainy runs I have had old shoes on so I just set them on the porch to dry….and it took days. After a 23 mile run this past Saturday in my new Saucony Triumphs and nonstop rain, my shoes were soaked. I decided I better ask Barry (who is a wealth of shoe knowledge) what I needed to do to dry them quickly and without sacrificing the condition of my new shoes. Here is what he instructed me to do, which by the way worked like a charm and within hours I might add:
- Loosen the laces.
- Remove the soles.
- Stuff the shoes with paper towels to absorb the extra moisture
- Place the shoes and the soles in front of a fan. (Air only, NO heat)
By the time I went to bed my shoes were completely dry. (After 20 years of running I finally learned how to dry my running shoes out the right way!)
Here are a few other things that help when you know there is a chance it may rain during your run.
- Wear a hat to keep your head dry and to keep the rain out of your eyes.
- Be sure to use a body glide or Vaseline in any place you may possibly chafe. The constant rubbing with the added wetness is a brutal combination if you aren’t prepared! Trust me you will feel it when you get in the shower!
- Be sure you wear light weight clothing because the rain will weigh them down.
- Remember that even though it may be wet outside, you still need to stay hydrated. (You may not feel quite as thirsty but you still need it.)
- One of the most important things for me is to place my iPhone in a Ziploc bag. It protects it 100% from the rain and you can still control your music through the bag. It has truly saved me because I need my music to run.
When you are prepared to run in the rain it can actually end up being a very liberating, relaxing, and peaceful run. This last Saturday in the rain ended up being my fastest long run in over a month. (This also may have had something to do with my speed work that week….See the previous blog, “Need for Speed”) There are actually a few benefits to running in the rain. When you run in the rain you don’t have to fight heat exhaustion so you can often have a more intense workout. This can help develop your leg muscles and build endurance. Running in the rain can also develop mental toughness, which is a key component of becoming a better runner. It makes you realize that you don’t have to wait for the perfect conditions to run. You know what they say….. “If you wait for the perfect conditions, you will never get anything done!”
So lace up, grab a hat, some body glide and get your miles in this Spring!