A few months out of the year I live in sort of a weather paradise, where rain is something rather alien. To be sure Austin can get it’s fair share of rain, but it just doesn’t happen all too often. Having so many days of no rain can really spoil you and you may forget how to even dress for it.
Last Friday, I woke at 5:20am sharp for my weekly Bomb run and there was something amiss. What was that strange sound I was hearing. Could it be, no…yes, that is the sound of raindrops. It was the sort of cold nasty rain that takes motivation and stomps on it. I was ill prepared and defeated. I didn’t know what to wear and rather than brave what nature threw at me, I walked slowly back bed and went to sleep.
Running in rain requires a plan, that is if you want to enjoy your run rather than letting nature dominate you. Some of my most memorable runs have been in the rain. At a certain point it can feel almost kid like, splashing here and there, but that’s if it’s warm outside. Running in the rain in the fall or spring can be absolute misery if you’re not properly dressed.
Having a rain game plan can make your workouts go from non-existent to I can take on the world.
The most important piece of apparel is something to keep your chest warm and dry. You really have 2 options. A vest or a jacket. My preference is to wear a vest if I can get away with it, but as temperatures plummet, you will want to invest in a good waterproof running jacket.
I like to run in wool if at all possible and single layers. Wool has the ability to keep you warm even when wet and can adjust to your body temperature.
The cat in the hat is what I am when it’s raining. Having a hat with a good bill on it, really helps keep the rain out of your eyes.
The hard part for me is always what to wear on my legs. Wear too little and you may get a chill, wear to much and you will soon over heat. My preference is to run in shorts in anything over 55 and switch to tights for anything below. Again wool is my preference, since it will keep you a bit warmer even when wet.
Shoes and socks. Again I go for wool socks if it’s cold and synthetic if it’s warm. I don’t have any preference for shoes, since I know my feet are going to get wet. You may want to make sure though that you have proper fitting shoes, because your feet will slide a bit more.
So to recap
- Jacket or Vest
- Wool top or multiple wool tops if it’s cold
- Shorts over 55 degrees
- Tights under 55 degrees
- Wool Socks
- Good fitting running shoes
Here are my go to stores for gear
Rapha – If you are into cycling, they have great rain gear. It’s pricey, but it’s totally worth it.
Smart Wool – They have a line of running apparel called PHD. Love their running tights.
Icebreaker – Lots of choices for running tops. They break them down by thickness.
We are going to be review a new company called Showers Pass that has cycling apparel geared for rain days.
So make a plan, dress for success and don’t let the next rainy day ruin your workout.