Coming across someone who wouldn’t be at least once in their life standing against the rain problem, I find almost impossible. No matter whether you decide to go for a small jogging exercise or long marathon training, simply, the chances at many places in the World bear the same risk… being smashed by a cute rain shower. And of course, good preparation is the most essential part if you want to survive it. So what should you take into consideration?
Most importantly, as we are writing on this web about running shoes, we will focus later on, on running shoes for rain specifically. But before anything, I would like to mention a few things in this article, that I consider important before rushing outside to the rain. Please, be aware! It is just my own thoughts and I am not saying you should take them as the golden rules of running. Rather as a clue of what to think about as well. So:
1 ) Is all the rain worth my effort today?
Let’s be honest. What is too much that is too much. If it’s a really heavy rain outside, the conditions are just annoying. You are getting constantly soaked. No matter what kind of protection gear you wear. Sooner or later, it will happen. And by the way, never forget that it’s not just about the wet coming from the rain. It is also your body itself that produces some water in form of sweat over time. And no doubt that if you do some middle to long distance intensive training, you will be sweating as hell. And if it is the situation that outside it is raining heavily, you will barely like the run. Simply because you’ll be just bathing in the mixture of all watery compounds available.
So whenever I see a rain outside, I take a fast look at hour by hour forecast and make a reasonable decision whether to go or not. Thunderstorms I don’ t even mention…. As you may guess my opinion: It is everything but cool to try heroism against flashes 🙂 . Just answer to yourself, how bad the rain is and if the possible discomfort would still make you happy (not everyone is training for special forces and needs to learn how to survive the most extreme conditions).
2) How cold is it?
Did you expect a more sophisticated question from my side? Sorry to disappoint you that it is so simple. Or is it? Well, think for now about the most extreme conditions in which you have run in your life and try to remember what lowest temperature you’ve ever experienced. I remember my experience when I went for a run in northern Sweden once and it was close to minus 8 degrees (around 46 Fahrenheit). It was utterly clear sky cold from snow, almost freezing to the bones. But the fact that there was no rain (in this situation obviously snow) made the whole experience overall somewhat pleasurable.
Imagine now that you would have to count in some rain and temperatures around zero. Cold plus wet equals much higher risk of getting a cold and falling ill afterwards. And even good clothing gets step by step soaked. Thus the cold will reach you even if you don’t want it. 🙂 In my opinion, this combination of weather conditions is one of the worst you can ever come across. So never forget about this simple thing and try to take a look outside before you rush out. Warm, waterproof gears exists, but as mentioned several times, it won’ t save you for too long. In those these, a treadmill might seem to be a better alternative.And now the last, third question you should lay to yourself before running in any rain:
3) How much is the terrain for rain really appropriate?
Are you hesitating whether to go for running in rain and at the same time you are standing against a difficult trail in the forest with steep hilly slopes? Or is it just a nice easy road in the city where nothing seems to be less riskier than a running exercise?
As a runner, I can openly say that slippery surface really sucks. It is a real pain because it makes the whole run unpredictably dangerous. And above that all, it can happen that the temperature drops down and the surface will not only be slippery but boosted by a layer of ice. And after that, trust me, all the fun really disappears. Having the difficult terrain and at the same time cold weather is the most unpredictable condition for running. Once, I went for a run when drizzling. And it was a long run in the evening and the temperatures went down. Slowly, it started freezing and as the terrain was up and down and I had normal running shoes for city runs, it was difficult to get back home because I was in the middle of the run. Long story short, it completely slowed me down, disrupted my cardio workout and made me realize how important it is to think about this aspect whenever I am running in a difficult terrain.
4) What gear for running in the rain?
Most importantly something reflexive. Definitely, a well prepared runner will note get along without a sharply yellow jacket or something as a nice, lightly blue hat. Simply said, something that will make you clearly visible in the dark rainy days. And now, above all of this, I strongly recommend a great pair of running shoes! And of course, you may ask me which ones are the best…
Well, truth to be said, I haven’t had many shoes for running in rain on my feet but I would go and recommend these:
1] Take running shoes with huge rubber pads on the shoe outsole (great examples: Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX, Nike Airzoom Wildhorse 4 or Asics Gel-Sonoma 4 ) so that you don’t slip over the first sleeky pavement you come across.
2] Gore-Tex membrane as the base of the shoe upper (Asics Gel-Pulse 8 or for instance again Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX (in my opinion a perfect shoe).
And maybe to your surprise, that’ s pretty much it. My observations are now yours to think about. Many people would say, “yeah, but these things are obvious”. Well, if so, then even better! If not, definitely try to remember it and put it to your consciousness before challenging the rainy weather outside.
Enjoy the rain responsibly and stay safe!