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10 Tips for Running in the Rain

How to Dress for Wet Weather Runs

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Updated April 04, 2014

Rainy weather doesn't mean you have to take your runs inside. And most races are not cancelled because of rain. So try these tips to make sure you're prepared for running in the rain:

1. Wear a Hat With a Brim

Man jogging in the rain
Chase Jarvis/Digital Vision/Getty Images

A hat with a brim can be your best friend during a rainy run. It will keep the rain off your face, so you can see, even in a downpour.

2. Dress in Layers if It's Cold

If it's very cold and rainy, you may need to wear a couple of layers. The most important layer is the one closest to your body. Make sure it's a technical fabric such as polypropylene or CoolMax, which wick water and sweat away from your skin. Your outer layer should be a wind- and water-resistant jacket or vest. Don't wear a waterproof rain slicker because it will trap moisture and heat.

More: Tips for Racing in Cold Weather

3. Don't Overdress

Running in the rain
John Kelly
This is one the biggest mistakes runners make when heading out for a rainy run. Wearing more layers will not keep you dry. Unless you're running with an umbrella over your head, you will definitely get wet. If you have tons of layers on, you will just be wearing more wet, heavy clothes. Dress for the temperature, as if it were a dry day.

4. Use a Garbage Bag

If you have to wait outside in the rain before the start of a race, a big trash bag with armholes and a neck hole cut out can help you stay dry. You can take it off and throw it to the side once you get moving.

5. Be Visible

night running
Photo by Scott Markewitz
Select an outer layer that's light-colored or has reflective strips, since running in the rain often means poor visibility.

More: Top Visibility Gear

6. Wear Old Running Shoes at the Start

If you're running a race, keep your race shoes and socks in a plastic bag while waiting at the start. You can check your old shoes in your gear check bag, and put on your race shoes and socks right before you head to the starting line. If it has stopped raining by then, you'll be able to run the race in dry shoes and socks.

7. Prevent Chafing

Body Glide
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
If you're running long, spread Body Glide or Vaseline on parts of your body where you would normally chafe or get blisters -- such as your feet, inner thighs, underarms, sports bra lines (women), and nipples (men).

More: How to Prevent Chafing

8. Protect Your Electronics

Store electronics, such as your cell phone and iPod, in a ziplock bag or a water-proof carrier.

More: How to Save a Wet Cell Phone

9. Just Run!

The hardest part of running in the rain is often just getting started. Once you begin running and warm up, you may find that you actually enjoy it! And it's good preparation in case you ever have to run a race in the rain.

10. Dry Out Your Shoes

When you get back from a wet run, take off your running shoes and stuff them with crumpled balls of newspaper. This helps the shoes keep their shape, and the paper draws moisture away from the shoes.

More: How to Take Care of Your Running Shoes
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