Saturday, September 7, 2013

Water running...

So, once I got past my stress fracture, I figured I was done with water running for a while.  Not so.  Just a different kind of water running today...

Today I had 12 km (7.5mi) on the plan.  It was pouring rain.  Whether to do the run wasn't the question, but I did have some options.

Theoretically, I could do it on the treadmill.  That option was discarded pretty quickly.  The treadmill is a great tool when I have no childcare or the paths are actually unsafe (too icy), but neither was the case today.

I could wait until this evening to do it, when it might, maybe, stop raining.  But, I never feel like training in the evening.  I do it anyways regularly, but I much prefer to get it done early in the day.  There's no way I'd want to do it more in the evening.

So, I headed out for a run in the rain.  I actually enjoy running in the rain once I'm going.  There are a few considerations to take into account:

Clothing: The temperature wasn't actually that cold, so I just wore a long sleeved shirt and accepted I'd get wet.  I rarely bother with an actual rain jacket.  Even if they say they are breathable, I find they rarely are.  For me, I usually find that dressing as though it's 5 to 10 degrees cooler works.

Warm up: If you go outside and start running right away, you're probably fine.  I don't.  I generally walk for 5 minutes first (unless running right after a ride).  Skipping this step leaves me feeling creaky when starting my run.   Since realizing I'm not an invincible runner, I am making an effort to follow through on all the practices that keep my body going smoothly.  So, I hopped on my treadmill for a 5 minute walk.  Running in the rain is fun.  Walking in the rain, while dressed to run, not so much.

Shoes: You have to accept that your feet will get wet.  It's smart to avoid the puddles that are ankle deep or ones you can't see the bottom of.  It's unrealistic to try to jump over every puddle or think you can avoid splashing.  Feet will get wet.  Soaking wet.  I've been lucky so far when it comes to blisters, but if you have problems with it, choose your socks wisely.  Don't consider your running shoes to be too precious.  I've done wet muddy runs in retired running shoes and it's always been a mistake.

When I'm done a rainy run, I stuff my shoes with newspaper.  It helps draw out the moisture and dry them out.  I also usually have two, or more, pairs of shoes in rotation.  That's a good habit anyways, but is extra handy if you have to do regular runs in wet weather.

Technology: Obviously you have to be extra careful with any technology you bring on your run.  The only thing I regularly have is my garmin, which is water proof.  I don't usually run with music or my phone.  (I always bike with my phone, but run in town where I am confident I could get help if stuck.)  It goes without saying that you need to have some form of waterproofing for any technology.  A ziploc bag works in a pinch.

Warming up after: I have no problems while actually running, but once I'm done the run, getting out of the wet clothes and into a warm shower is essential.  Otherwise I get a chill that I can't shake off for hours.

I also try to remember how I feel upon finishing a rainy run.  It's usually great.  Rainy runs tend to be fabulous zen type runs for me.  If I can take a mental picture of that mood, it makes it easier to get out next time it's raining.


  1. Funny, I don't mind running in the snow, even quite heavy snow, but rain just doesn't do it for me. Though tomorrow I won't wait, I'll get up and go, rain or not. I'm pretty much a I'm going to get wet so why bother with rain jacket, unless I want the pockets, or it's a bit windy. The clothing thing is really hard in the fall, and during rainy weather. Normally if it's raining here, it's cold. Warm rain kind of throws me. Glad you had a good run!

  2. Good for you for getting out yesterday and running in the rain! I ran the Footstock half last year and it was pouring the entire time. I will say that I do not enjoy running in the rain after that race!