When it’s safe to run outside in the elements, rainy day runs can be a lot of fun!
It’s been a wet few days here in northeast Ohio and it won’t be letting up any time soon. With Florence on her way and other storms brewing, it seems a lot of us will be wet for a little while longer.
But let’s face it, a little water and rain never stopped us runners. We’ll find a way to keep training for our fall races, I’m sure. But for those of us who are a) tired of the weather, b) unable to run outdoors during the storms, or c) aren’t so committed to running they want to run outside in the rain, it’s high time we find an alternative to training in inclement weather.
I’m still able to run outside but my patience and motivation are wearing thin. I have a feeling I may be relegated to indoor workouts soon. If you’re in the same boat (pun not intended — but how ironic), here are a few ways to make the most of rainy day runs.
Making the Most of Rainy Day Runs
Suck it up, buttercup.
The first option when it comes to rainy day runs is to suck it up and run outside. Dress appropriately (hat/visor, rain jacket, waterproof shoes if you have them, merino wool socks, reflective vest) and head out into the elements. Chances are you’ll have a great run even though it may be soggy out.
Run with a group and suffer together.
If running outside doesn’t sound too awful but running solo in the rain does, enlist a friend or two to join you. Sometimes suffering in the elements collectively is much more entertaining than slogging through the puddles alone. Plus a lot of fun photo opps can come out of rainy day runs with friends… but make sure it’s not raining too hard because you don’t want to damage your electronics. Which reminds me — put your phone in a plastic bag if you do run in the rain.
But if running outside in the rain sounds abysmal even with a friend — or you’ve frankly done it one too many times lately — you may just want to call it a day and head indoors. There’s nothing wrong with using the treadmill for a rainy day run. I personally try to reserve my treadmill use for cold and snow. That’s not to say I won’t run on the treadmill if it’s torrential. Sometimes, though, I change my schedule according to the weather. We’ll get back to that.
If you choose to run on the treadmill due to the elements and you don’t really enjoy running on the treadmill all that much, try getting creative with your workout. You could do fartleks, speed work, or try this fun hill workout! Here are some other ideas to keep yourself entertained on the treadmill.
Check the weather, change your schedule.
One thing I do sometimes — more often in summer than cooler months — is adjust my running schedule to match the weather. If I look at the 10-day forecast and I see there will be a rainy day here and there, I’ll scope out the likelihood of precipitation and see when I can fit my runs in.
Helpful hint: if the forecast calls for 40% or less of a chance of precipitation, the likelihood of rain is slim. If the chance is 50% it’s a “maybe? maybe not?” 65% chance and up and you’ll likely experience some sort of wetness falling from the sky.
It’s been harder to change my runs around lately due to the higher chance of rain each day and well into the extended forecast, but on days when there’s not remnants of a past hurricane and another hurricane looming, this method works pretty well.
Try pool running!
Pool running isn’t just for injury rehab. It makes for great cross training, too! If my gym had a pool I would be in it every day. Deep water pool running is always a fabulous idea as it’s no impact and still gets your heart rate up. And what a fun alternative on a rainy day!
Need a flotation device for deep water pool running? Try this one found on Amazon.
Can it and try again later.
When all else fails — the motivation is nonexistent, the treadmill isn’t an option, you can’t convince your friends to run with you, conditions are unsafe, or you don’t have a pool available — cut your losses, can the workout, and try again another day. One or two lost workouts won’t make or break your training. And if nothing else, your body may appreciate the extra rest. If you need to skip a workout due to weather conditions, so be it.
Rainy day runs can certainly be a lot of fun, but they can also be a downer and downright unsafe. When it’s safe to run outside in the rain, make sure you take the proper steps to stay safe (like wearing a reflective vest). And if you can’t run outside, head inside! But the best rule of all: do what you can with what you have.
Enjoy those rainy day runs!
Do you enjoy running in the rain?
What’s your favorite way to cross train?
This post is not meant to discount anyone in the path of a storm. If you’re in hurricane zone, by all means SKIP THE RUNS!! Please stay safe, friends.
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