5 Reasons You Should Run in the Rain

A woman running on a road in the rain

Did you know running in the rain is good for you?

Ever fall victim to the “dreadmill” on rainy days? If so, you’re not alone. While it’s often hard to take the first step in less-than-perfect weather conditions, as long as you’re not facing a dangerous thunderstorm or tornado, running in adverse weather can be quite rewarding, even beneficial. Here are five reasons to splash through puddles on a rainy-day run:

Running in the rain could help you run faster. Did you know that when temps are even just a couple of degrees warmer your performance can suffer?

That’s because you’re body temperature rises as you run. The warmer it is, the more you have to sweat to cool off. Throw humidity into the mix, and you’re up against an even greater cool-down challenge. However, when the sky opens up, rain acts as a natural air conditioner to keep your body temperature down so you can keep your effort up.

Running in the rain will help you deal with adversity.

While it may feel ideal to run on a beautiful sunny day, challenging yourself to run in adverse conditions like rain help you let go of factors you can’t control. This will help you not only successfully complete workouts and reach your goals in races but also deal with adversity in the rest of life. After all, daily life is rarely a perfect, cloudless day. (Safety note: Refrain from running in dangerous conditions like thunderstorms or hail storms.)

Running in the rain helps to relieve stress.

Water is cleansing, and the sound of rain is relaxing … as long as you’re not running in a near-freezing downpour. If you can let go of your rainy-day dread, you might just finish a wet spring run in a more mindful state than you started.

Running in the rain can boost your confidence.

Ever notice how the whole world grows deserted during a rain shower (unless you live in the Pacific Northwest)? Rather than folding from the weather, get up and go. We guarantee you’ll feel all the more gritty for splashing through some rainy solo miles.

Running in the rain could help you burn more fat.

If the rain is cool enough that your body has to work to stay warm, you end up increasing your metabolic rate after a period of adaptation, and therefore burning more fat during exercise.

Runners wear the Brooks Canopy Jacket in the rain

What to Wear to Run in the Rain

No running clothes are going to keep you completely dry in the rain, so you should expect to get wet. But the right gear will keep you more comfortable.

A running hat with a bill that extends out over your face.

A running hat with a bill will shield your eyes from the rain so you don’t have to constantly wipe water out of your face.

Synthetic, form-fitting clothing (including socks).

Don't wear cotton. Cotton T-shirts and socks because they act like sponges in the rain, soaking up water and sticking to your skin. Even in sunny weather, cotton doesn’t dry out as fast as synthetic fibers, and wet cotton can lead to chafing.

As opposed to baggy clothing, form-fitting gear has less excess fabric to soak up water and cling to your body.

Anti-chafe balm

Try Squirrel’s Nut Butter or Body Glide to protect you from uncomfortable rubbing.

A breathable, running-specific jacket (if it's chilly)

We love the Brooks Canopy jacket or On Weather Jacket. Jackets that don’t breathe well might keep you dry from the rain, but they will bottle up sweat and leave you feeling clammy.

If it's warm, skip the jacket and embrace getting wet.

A jacket will simply make you feel hot.

A person wearing the waterproof On Cloudflyer running shoes while standing in a puddle

Your choice of running shoes is just as important as the clothes you wear. Here are our tips for wearing running shoes in the rain:

Save your favorite shoes.

If you have more than one pair of running shoes, protect your favorites from the rain. If you have just one, be sure to dry them out once you get back home. Letting your shoes stay wet will shorten their lifespan and cause them to stink.

How to dry your wet running shoes

  1. Remove the liner inside your shoe so that it can air out and dry faster. Most shoes have a removable sock liner that you can slip in and out.
  2. Stuff your shoes with newspaper. Crumple up some newspaper or other light paper (not toilet paper!) and stuff it into your wet shoes. The paper will absorb the excess water in your shoes, shortening the drying time and keeping them funk-free. You can also use cotton rags.
  3. Put your shoes in a place with good airflow. That might be beside a floor vent, in front of a fan, or in a covered outdoor space.
  4. Remove the paper after a few hours. Once the paper is full of water, there’s no need to leave them in your shoes. Either throw the paper away or dry it out to use it again!

Try water-resistant shoes

Some brands make your favorite shoe in a waterproof version for your rainy workouts. Shoes with GTX in the title are made with GORE-TEX, a breathable, waterproof membrane that keeps water out but lets water vapor from sweat escape to keep your feet drier.

Shoes like the On Cloudflyer Waterproof can help keep your feet dry, while some trail running shoes have a tighter mesh that repels rain and grippier outsole to give you better traction on wet surfaces.

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