When training for a spring race, chances are good you’ll encounter some rain. Sure, on those occasions, you can head indoors to a treadmill. But not on race day: You either have to face the conditions, or ditch the race. We recommend braving the elements because, news flash, you don’t melt. In addition, just like you test how you’ll fuel on race day and the shoes you’ll wear, we suggest you head outside for some wet training runs. 

Raining buckets on SBS in Portland

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Lisa from Arizona told us on the Another Mother Runner Facebook page: “I never ever train in the rain: It’s 300 days of sun here. And what happened at my last marathon? It was cold and rainy! OMG, I was NOT prepared.”  

To make those damp endeavors as pleasant as possible, follow these suggestions we cultivated from folks on our Facebook page, starting perhaps with Brittney’s advice: “Don’t look outside first—it’ll just scare you away!”

“Do not, I repeat, do not, wear a rain jacket: You’ll create your own personal terrarium with the sweat you generate. Wear breathable, wicking fabrics. No cotton!” —Melissa

“I love anything that has wool in it. It keeps you warmer and less soggy.” —Jenny

“The first time I ever ran in the rain, I ran in a rain jacket. I was so upset because it clearly was not actually rainproof as I had water dripping down my arms inside the jacket. Took me a while to realize the jacket was waterproof: It was just my own sweat trickling down my arms! Now I don’t even bother with a rain jacket. I just accept I will get wet and make sure to have dry clothes available when I am finished.” —Samantha

“A hat, plus my phone in a Ziploc bag, are my go-to’s. I remind myself of something my dad told me, ‘you can only get so wet.’” [Editor’s note: a wise man!] —Reneé

2018 Cape Cod nor’easter with puddles galore

A brimmed hat is mandatory! Just keeping the rain off your face doesn’t make running in the rain nearly as bad.” —Diane 

“No rain jacket, just know you’ll get wet. Hat with a brim, wool if it’s cold, and a Peet shoe dryer.” —Amy from Seattle

“There’s not much to do about wet feet during the run, though I’ll use Squirrel’s Nut Butter on blister-prone areas before the run. For wet shoes afterward, I remove the insoles, stuff the shoe with newspaper (I buy the occasional Sunday edition just to keep for this purpose), and they’re generally dry by evening.” —Cathy 

“One time when I knew my long run would be a total wash-out, I packed some fresh socks in a Ziploc and changed them at an indoor stop. Dry feet didn’t last long, but it was a nice mental boost to feel fresh at least for 10 minutes mid-long run.” —Jennifer

Note the essential hat with a brim

Wool socks are a must! I actually kinda love stomping through a puddle, then feeling the sock wick away the moisture. It’s a cool feeling.” —Mary

Aquaphor. Lots of Aquaphor everywhere. A hat with a brim, and as someone with long thick hair, I always do a ponytail-braid to minimize tangles.” —Emily

Body Glide everything. Especially your bum crack.” —Lara

“A plastic poncho left open on the sides and held in place by a race belt or SPIbelt. I ran my first marathon like that in pouring rain and tossed the poncho at mile 17 when the sun appeared, and I finished in relative comfort.” —Beverly

“It poured for my race last weekend. Wool socks, baseball cap, contacts instead of glasses, wool long-sleeve top, and a rain jacket. Plus a good attitude.” —[Other] Sarah

Running with ponchos helps, but the guy with swim cap and goggles went all in

“Be mindful of where you store gels or other nutrition with sturdy or sharp-cornered packaging: You can easily end up with chafing through capri pockets (or through your bra) when you would not have normally encountered it. I learned this lesson the hard way in a marathon relay.” —Stacey

“Don’t run in lightning. I always have escape routes or covered areas I can run to in the summer because it can be perfectly fine and then, boom, lightning out of nowhere that puts a serious pep in your step.” —Bethany from Alabama

“If I didn’t run in the rain, I would miss a lot of runs. I live on the west coast of Canada in one of the rainiest places. I wear a hat and just embrace it. I just get wet, then shower as soon as I’m home.” —Jen

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