March 18, 2016

How to deal with a rainy race day

This weekend's forecast for the Qunitiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Half Marathon is not looking too promising.  But when rain is probable what do you do as a runner?  Do you pray that the rain holds off?  Do you skip the race altogether?  Here are some things I think are key to making your rainy race a fun experience.



1.  Body Glide is your friend:  When you are wet all over, the chances of chafing are huge.  So do yourself a favor and slather on the Body Glide or Vaseline to reduce your changes of chafing and that horrible shower experience after your race.

2. Wear a hat or visor:  Whether you prefer a hat or visor, keeping the rain away from your eyes for miles and miles is key to keeping your race from turning into a miserable experience.  For the Boston Marathon 2015, I wore a brand new hat because the forecast was so bad, including cold winds.

3.  Electronics:  I always run with my IPod shuffle, but use a snack size ziplock bag or jacket pocket during rainy weather.  You can purchase running belts that have waterproof pockets so that is another option.  The other choice is to run without your music or phone and that gives you less weight to carry and your electronics stay nice and dry.

4.  Wear a disposable poncho to the start:  These can be purchased at Walmart or similar discount store for about $2 and are invaluable for keeping your dry before the race starts. If it is a cold race, you may choose to keep it on for the first mile until you are properly warmed up.

5.  Race outfit:  Tops and bottoms that can wick moisture away from your body are the best choice.  I like to wear form fitting tops that won't bag out and turn into a dress after a couple miles.  If the weather is cool, a breathable running jacket will be a great option.

Near the finish line, I opened my jacket so my number could be seen
After running a full marathon in the rain last year, it is possible to enjoy yourself if you embrace the experience without negative thoughts.  My sister and I slogged for 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston last April 20, 2015 but had a good time despite the inclement weather.  Of course it wasn't ideal, but we made the best of it.  Have fun and remember you paid to run the race!

It's Friday and we are linking up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia for their Friday linkup.  Please be sure to check out their blogs herehere and here.

Any tips you can add to my list?
(Pam)


34 comments:

  1. These are all great tips! And I think having a good attitude about it helps as well. I tried to remain as positive as I could during RnR DC last year and that helped me to have fun for at least the first half of a rainy race.

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    1. A good attitude is key but honestly no runners are that enthusiastic about running in the rain!

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  2. Excellent tips - only thing I would add is make sure you are wearing really good socks. I have a few go to socks for rain that keep my feet from blistering!

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    1. I did forget socks, but I think that is because I wear the same brand all the time and they work well. For many runners, socks could be an issue

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  3. Great tips! I've run a few races/long runs in the rain. For me, the hat makes ALL the difference. I don't so much mind the rain as long as it's not smacking me in the face, haha.

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    1. Yes, I hate when rain is hitting my face too. How are the wedding plans going? :)

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  4. Great tips!! I haven't had too many rainy day races (thank goodness) but the hat especially has proved helpful.

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    1. I've got my visor ready for tomorrow. I think it will rain the first part of my race but I will be prepared.

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  5. My very first marathon was rainy. Started off cloudy, but was raining by about mile 4 & didn't let up. I actually remember being glad. I didn't have enough body glide but the rain kept everything slicked up so my thighs didn't chafe. I will say my shoes were SO heavy by the end I could barely stand it.

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    1. Yes, the shoes do tend to get heavy, but I'm not sure what you could do to alleviate that problem.

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  6. Run is tough. I don't mind light rain, especially in summer but when it is heavy and filling your shoes...ugh. I have sloshed through both and you are right body glide is king and zip-locs are perfect.
    I wear a water resistant vest and it helps me to feel "dryer" but still lets air circulate :)

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    1. Oh a vest is a great idea. I may have to look into that purchase.

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  7. I absolutely hate running in the rain. I really hope to have decent weather for my first marathon. I need to get myself some body glide... it is one of the things I do not have.
    I would suggest bringing a change of socks if you can... having your shoes goes squish squish is AWFUL.

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    1. I definitely am bringing some things to change into after the race since I plan to cheer afterwards for the marathon runners.

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  8. Unfortunately, it's only rained for my long races - 3 halfs. I hate the rain!!! Hope the forecast is wrong and you have a dry one this weekend.

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    1. Yuck, three halves in the rain is no fun. Unfortunately we will have a bit of rain at the start, but I don't mind as long as it not for the whole race.

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  9. A hat or a visor is a must when its raining. I usually only wear mine when its raining to help shield my face from the rain. A good pair of socks is also key. The last thing you want are horrible hot spots or blisters from socks that won't try and resist the moisture.

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    1. I also only wear a hat for rain, otherwise my head gets too hot!

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  10. Put dry socks in your gear bag for after the race!

    I've been "lucky" with weather -- I really only had 2 cold/rainy halfs so far (and one was Vegas, go figure) -- and neither was the entire race. Hope the rain holds off for you!

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    1. I had forgotten about the dry socks and that is a great tip. They are already pulled out for tomorrow!

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  11. 100% yes to body glide/Vaseline to help with chafing. Definitely dry clothes/shoes for after the race....and access to good coffee/tea/hot chocolate to warm up :) Good luck this weekend!

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    1. Great idea about the hot drinks afterwards. I have also packed a bag with dry shoes so when I spectate for the marathon my feet can be comfortable

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  12. Great tips! I always wear a hat or visor in the rain but never thought to wear something form fitting so that it doesn't feel like a wet, heavy dress. So awesome that you ran a full marathon in the rain and had a positive experience!

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    1. I'm not sure it would have been nearly as much fun without my sister by my side. It was wicked weather that day.

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  13. I have started to wear visors for all of my long distances races. I was so glad I had my visor on last year when it start raining during the Mickey marathon. Because of that, the rain didn't bother me at all!

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    1. I think once you have run a few times in the rain it is not such a problem.

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  14. Bah! Last year's Boston was a slog, wasn't it? It seems the really, heavily rainy races I've run, the rain didn't actually start until I was at least in the starting corral. I've drowned a couple of Shuffles that way. But they did come back to life after sitting in rice for a looooong time.

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    1. Oh that's great about your shuffles. I also heard that saving the dry packs that come with shoes and handbags are perfect for drying things out, also using a Ziplock bag.

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  15. Skip a rainy day race? No real runner would do that. No badass points for staying home...

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    1. I think recreational runners might skip their race but I would have to be on my deathbed before I would miss a race. Oh wait, I nearly was last year after that bout with food poisoning before Boston.

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  16. It would have to be a really special race for me to run in a downpour. Even with a hat my glasses get fogged up in the rain and I can't see!

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    1. Oh I never thought about how difficult it would be with glasses. My sister wore her contact lens at Boston

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  17. Great tips. I wear different socks when it's raining...ones that are really tight around the ankle. This way the water logged socks want creep down into your shoes. Live and learn. Hope you have a wonderful half marathon this weekend.

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  18. Great tips. I use hats and Ziplock bags all the time for the sweat too.

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