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Rain Running

"I love rain, it brings life to earth, it brings life to me." ~ Felix

What should you do if you want to go for a run and it starts to rain? You should shout, "Hooray!", then lace up your sneakers and head out the door. A rainy day can be the most comfortable day of all.

If you aren't used to running in the rain, you'll be surprised how little it effects you. There is really not much to daily training in the rain. Just get out the door. Make up your mind and put one foot in front of the other until you're done. You can last through most anything for 30 to 40 minutes and may actually enjoy rain running because you stay cooler much easier.

It is just a State of Mind

Within a few minutes of running in the rain, a runner feels just fine. Run fast, stay warm. This is especially true with the new fabrics made just for such occasions. Why are we like cats, hating the rain, when we should enjoy it like any sensible dog does?

Be extra careful around car traffic. Although the impulse is to rush the crosswalk, wait for the signal. Cars and drivers have a lot less control on wet roads. Try to avoid running straight through puddles and splashing everyone around you.

Your Rain Running Clothes

There is no such thing as "rain gear" for runners. Just wear your normal wicking type running clothes and have a blast. Dress for the temperature and wind, don't even bother trying to stay dry when you run in the rain, just stay warm by wearing multiple layers as required. You may be a little cold starting out, but about ten-fifteen minutes into the run, you'll be fine.

Don't wear cotton t-shirts in the rain. Many a novice runner can been seen struggling under the weight of a drenched, stretched cotton t-shirt weighing the equivalent of a choir robe. It will act like a sponge and will make for a miserable run. Cotton gets saturated and holds the water against your skin, conducting the heat away.

Wear a quality wicking Cool-Max top, long sleeve if you wish, and a good pair of wicking socks. They're a little softer and don't hoard rain drops. The wicking material will pull the water away from your skin making it feel warmer. Make sure your clothes aren't see through when they're wet, if you care about that sort of thing. Try them in the bath or shower first.

Rain jackets are pretty much useless as none of them breathe well enough to run in. If you're really in doubt about whether to wear a jacket or not, try one of those nifty jackets that folds up into its own pocket and converts to a waist packet. Better than the novice jacket-tied-around-the-waist look, and much better than getting the chills.

Keep those gorgeous runner's legs warm too! Tights usually do the trick. Heavy rain requires water-repellent pants. You'll be warm, but the fabric swish swish sound of the legs rubbing together may drive you a little buggy.

Most wet cotton socks are blister instigators. They bunch, wrinkle, crease and give your toes a wedgie. Pick an acrylic or polypropylene blend. Wear Cool Max socks and you won't even notice that they are wet. Put on one cotton sock and one Cool Max sock, run through a puddle and see how long it takes to notice the difference.

Thorlo socks are synthetic and that is good, but they also tend to be thick, which is probably why they seem to be holding water. We tend to prefer thin socks, especially in the rain. Record in your log which socks are successful, so on marathon day there won't be any doubts.

Afford yourself little luxuries. A cap with some type of beak keeps the worst the wind and/or rain out of your face and it helps with hair sticking to the sides of your face too. If you get cold hands, wear a pair of gloves.

Dry your shoes by removing the innards and stuffing the body with newspapers to wick the moisture out of your gear. Don't put them on a radiator or in the oven. There's nothing quite as memorable as the aroma of smoldering rubber oozing from a forgotten pair of shoes inside a heating oven.

Dry clothes, a shower and hot chocholate

Make sure you have maybe a towel and dry clothes at the end of your run. You definitely don't want to stand around in wet clothes after a race.

Take a hot shower, then get out of your wet clothes. This warms you up and rinses any dirt from your running clothes. On a cool day warm up with a little hot chocolate.