Today’s contribution to Marathon Week will be about running in the rain. For two weeks prior to my half marathon, I obsessively checked the weather app on my iPhone many, many times each day. Each time I checked, the forecast remained the same – RAIN! The good news was that the prediction was that the day would be warm (high of 18 degrees Celsius, starting out at 10 degrees at 8:30 am, when the race began).
I have run many times in the rain, and I actually find it quite enjoyable. The rain keeps you cool when running. You feel like a real runner when you run in the rain, not just someone who jogs occasionally on the weekend if the weather is nice. So, I had some experience with inclement weather, but I had never completed a long run in the rain. 21km in the rain terrified me. I worried about blisters on my feet, staying warm enough (it was expected to be a windy day), and I worried about chafing from my wet clothing.
In the end, the rain was not a problem at all. It was pouring when I left my house, and it continued to rain while I waited in my corral. The rain slowed down to a drizzle as the race started and luckily pretty much stopped after the first 15 minutes of the race.
Here’s what I did to tackle the rain:
- I slathered my feet with vaseline in the morning before I put on my socks. My shoes were soaked within minutes of getting out of my car before the race. They stayed wet for the next 3.5 hours, but I didn’t get one single blister.
- I put coconut oil on my body in areas where I was worried about chafing. This included my arm pits, and a number of areas under the edges of my sports bra. I didn’t chafe at all!
- I kept warm and dry before the start of a race by bringing a large throwaway umbrella with me, and by wearing a garbage bag, which I took off just before I crossed the start line. My clothes barely got wet and I stayed warm.
- I didn’t worry about puddles. My feet got soaked as soon as I stepped out of my car. It would have been very hard to try and run around puddles, and it likely would have wasted a lot of energy. My feet were wet, and I just accepted it, and enjoyed splashing through puddles.
- I wore a running hat with a brim, which kept the rain off my face during the first part of the race when it was drizzling a bit.
- I wore a running technical t-shirt and a running skirt. I did not wear a waterproof running jacket, and I did not wear pants or capris. The fabric of my clothes was wicking and quick- drying (gotta love Lululemon!) I knew that the high of the day would be 18 degrees and any extra layers would have overheated me. I saw a lot of people with jackets on at the start, and pretty much everyone took them off. I saw a lot of people wearing long sleeves and long pants and they were sweating profusely. They were really overdressed.
Have you ever run a race in the rain? Do you have any tips to add?