Even though it's really sunny today, I guess you can't see it because you're looking at me instead of out my window. Recently, I had a couple different runs in the rain. And I thought to myself, man, we really need this rain right now while I was out running.
I’m getting old, aren't I? Need rain. We didn't need the rain. I guess it can't be helped. I'm old now. Regardless of how old I am, I guess, we did need the rain. It was fun to run in the rain. So, you may think to yourself, should you run in the rain? Can I run in the rain? If I'm going to, what should I think about? I'm going to cover all those things today here on this episode of Runner's High.
If you haven't been with me here before, I'm Jesse Funk. This show is called Runner's High. I share with you my experience and tips about running. So, if you like to run, if you want to be a better runner, hit that subscribe button in the bottom right-hand corner. That way you can stay up-to-date with all the videos I'm going to bring out as well as the experts. I interview on my other show, the Smart Athlete Podcast.
Now, on to the running part itself. Should you run in the rain? My answer is always an almost unequivocally a resounding yes. Do not get on the treadmill, head out in the rain. There's something almost religious about running in the rain, at least for me. And I think it can be a cleansing experience both mentally and physically for various reasons.
Now, I said almost unequivocally, but there is one caveat. And that is if there's a tornado coming when you live in the Midwest or I live in the Midwest, I don't know where you are. That's a bad idea. Don't go run in the rain. If there's a thunderstorm, also not a great idea to run in the rain. Now, are you going to get hit by lightning? Chances are no, but I have to be responsible and tell you don't do that. That's not a great idea.
Now, I have run in the rain when it's been a thunderstorm numerous times, call it the hubris of youth. But, again, I have to advise my younger self, don't do that. That's not a very smart thing. So, please listen to me and don't do that. But otherwise, running in the rain is absolutely great. But let me tell you more about why you should actually go out and run in the rain.
The first benefit to running in the rain is mental toughness. This is especially true if you're somebody who sees the rain and you go ugh, maybe I should stay in on the treadmill and do the indoor thing. I don't want to get wet and that's kind of mental softness, right. You're avoiding something that is otherwise fine. Again, barring thunderstorms, running in the rain is not going to hurt you.
So, it can be an exercise in mental toughness. And there's a reason that's important. Many, many, many, many coaches say running is 90% mental, 10% physical because your mind is the engine that drives your body. If you can't get your mind on board, your body's not going to follow. So, building up that mental toughness is one way to be a better runner.
Beyond that, though, is a nice benefit of running in the rain and that's lower body temperatures, which means you can go out, you can go harder, have a faster day, have fun, just like a kid running around in the rain without overheating. This is especially awesome during the summertime, at least here in the Midwest, when things are hot, humid, and sticky very often.
But we get a nice rain, that means I can go out, I can go run for a long period of time, but I don't have to worry about overheating. And kind of getting to the point where I don't want to run anymore because my body's starting to shut down from being too hot.
Now, one of the things you have to figure out is, how are you going to dress when you go out to run. And this really depends on the season, right? Because we're not going to dress the same if it's fall and winter versus summer and spring. It depends on how warm or cool it is outside. Generally speaking, and I'm going to give Fahrenheit, sorry if you're in Celsius.
So, if it's 60 and above, I personally, I’m typically just in shorts, shoes, and this is going to be universal, a hat. Let's get our hat on. The hat’s nice because it has the bills so it keeps the rain out of your eyes. You can see where you're going, and I'm going to wear a hat pretty much regardless of what the temperature is because it's keeping the rain out of my eyes.
I actually would have been like this the other morning, I was out on my long run, had sunglasses on. I got almost home, I was 75-80 minutes into my 90-minute run, and it started pouring. It was so dark that the streetlights came back on, I had to take my sunglasses off and I did not have my hat with me. So, I just had to kind of blink my way and get rain in my eyeballs as I was trying to get home.
So, hat is always going to be a good thing that you want. Again, in the summertime, you can dress pretty summer, spring. If it's over that 60, you can dress pretty much however you like. In the 50s, this is a tougher situation.
I'm typically going to have a T-shirt or a long sleeve on, something that's going to be moisture-wicking because we're going to have all of that water coming down on us. We don't want to hold on to it. We want it to saturate the clothes and then move on. If you're wearing cotton.
It's going to hold more moisture than what you really want. Now, wintertime, this is where you want to dress in layers. Have a base layer, an overlayer, and then preferentially, you're going to have a jacket or something that lets rain runoff entirely.
There's a lot of running jackets now, they can be expensive, but they are worth it. They're in typically the $100 range, 100-120. Maybe I am just being old, and they're more expensive than that now. But they'll have vents on them, and they'll let water run right off and not soak in so that you stay dry underneath, have vents to breathe, and can continue running in the rain without getting saturated.
That's important when temperatures are really cold because your body's going to cool off much faster when it's wet than in the summer when you're worried about overheating. So, you have to take those two things into account.
Another universal though, and this is again regardless of temperature, socks. Gotta have those socks, some kind of moisture-wicking socks don't wear cotton. You can wear cotton other times if you want if that's what you're comfortable with. But you gotta have some kind of moisture-wicking because of all the rain, your feet are gonna be saturated, your shoes are going to be saturated. So, you have to be able to get that water away from your feet.
Now there are two options. You can do a kind of synthetic blend, or you can go with something nicer like merino wool. There are companies like Smartwool and other sports companies that will produce that kind of thing. But that's going to be your other crucial component regardless of temperature hat, socks, and then differentiate on temperature from there on what you want to wear.
One thing you want to make sure you remember when you're going to run in the rain, regardless of the kind of clothes you have on or lack of clothes in my case in the summer, is that wet close means chafing. So, you want something like an anti-chafe balm, something like what we produce here at Solpri. Ours is made with four all-natural ingredients.
You obviously can choose whatever you like. But if you'd like to pick one of ours up, you can go to Solpri.com/shop. It's going to be one of the first things on the page because it starts with A, all-natural. But along with those wet clothes comes chafing. So, you use an anti-chafe balm, to get those sticky areas that are going to get rubbed raw because of all the water.
Now, even ours or really anything you're going to pick up, it's going to come off quicker because of the moisture trying to wash it off of your body. So, if you're going up for a really long run, you're an ultra guy, ultra girl out for a long time you're gonna want to bring that with you. Personally, in the rain with ours, I find 60 to 70 minutes to be about my limit where I feel like I need another application.
Whereas on a normal day, if it's not raining 90 minutes plus, I'm perfectly fine. But because of that extra moisture, it washes off. So, make sure you have some kind of anti-chafe balm with you. If you want to try ours again, Solpri.com/shop, it'll be one of the first things in the shop to check out.
Now that you've gotten home, you got your run done, what do you do with all those wet clothes? Time to get them off, time to get naked, not to turn this into an X-rated video, but it's time to get into something dry. And what's really important is you take care of your shoes. Waterlogged shoes are gonna get worn down faster than shoes that stay dry.
This also goes for if you've sweat in your shoes a lot. I have a whole system I developed which I call the squish factor. It's good for the summertime. We'll talk about the squish factor in another video. If you want to hear about that, leave me a comment down below.
But what's important when you have wet shoes is you get them dry as soon as possible. Take the insole out of them, stick newspaper into them, change that newspaper every hour, two hours after it gets saturated. Make sure you continue to pull moisture out of the upper of the shoe and the midsole, the midsole getting dry is the more important thing, but you really want the whole shoe as dry as possible.
If you have a dehumidifier, set the shoes by your dehumidifier, that's especially important. Something we do in the summertime, we have a dehumidifier in our basement so my wet shoes always go next to that. It is crucial that you get those shoes dry as fast as you can in any way possible.
Except, do not stick them in the dryer. You have the chance of warping your shoes and basically making you have to buy new shoes, breaking them down faster, or totally nuking them in the dryer depending on how hot it is. So, don't do that. Don't use a blow dryer. Use anything you can to pull moisture out. So, do you have any stories about running in the rain you like to share with me?
Please leave them down in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you. As always, subscribe to the channel to stay tuned for future videos. And I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.