Updated: Mar 13, 2021
We would all rather run in the sun. Maybe it's a nice spring or fall day with a slight breeze. Whatever your ideal conditions are, chances are it’s not a rainy day. Rain has to be one of my least desirable weather conditions for running or even going outside. But it happens and it can throw off good routines. It’s easy to say “Just go out and do it”. If that works for you great, but if it doesn’t this blog is for you. I’m going to go through steps or tactics for physically and mentally rain proofing yourself.
First off you need to be honest about the level of rain aversion you have. If its stopping you from exercising I like to think it fits into two categories:
You don’t understand, I melt in the rain OR
I don’t melt but rain is the worst
If you can get yourself out there and still don’t like the rain, these may help you:
I don’t melt but it’s the worst
So running in the rain is bad and it's getting in the way of your exercise. Here are a few easy tactics to deal with this excuse:
Bundle up - Wear whatever you need to wear to get outside and go for a jog. Maybe that's layers, a rain jacket, a hat or toque, gloves, a poncho
Shorten the Run - If you’re worried about getting soaked start off by doing a 10 min jog and building from there. If rain is stopping you from leaving, the first step is getting out and realizing it isn’t as bad as your brain thinks it is.
Get a Friend - Got someone else who is committed to exercise? Do some jogging in the rain together, shared pain can make for great memories in the future
Change the Purpose - Change the intention of the run away from distance or speed and just make it about “Run Training” Similar to above, it doesn’t even matter how long or fast you go, just about time jogging outside getting wet.
Build the Running in Rain Muscle - You can’t control if it's going to rain on race day, so this is the opportunity to build that mental toughness muscle so that rain on race day becomes your advantage over other runners.
Reward Yourself - Figure out a reward for yourself when you return. Maybe it’s chocolate, hot coffee, thick sliced bacon or a hot bubble bath. Rewards can be great to help remove that barrier and start building your running in the rain mental muscle.
Badge of Honour - Start gathering stories to brag to other runners about how hardcore you are. When everyone else is sticking inside you’re consistently out there. Just make sure you’re safe. If it’s a tsunami, stay inside.
You don’t understand, I melt in the rain
If these still don’t help you get outside, then you probably think you melt in the rain. Here are some more extreme tactics to get the ball moving:
Rain Training - Rather than running in the rain, just go for a walk. The intention is to get wet and see what it feels like. Is it as bad as you thought, do you melt? Just get out and walk for 20 mins, maybe it's in run gear, maybe it's just in regular clothing. Maybe you find your walk turns into a jogging walk (a jog that is basically the same pace as a walk, but has a jogging motion)
Get Real Data - Find out how bad it actually is. Looking at the puddles is great, but often we overestimate how bad it is. Put your hand out a window, stand on your balcony, start collecting actual data and start associating what you see with how hard it actually is. If it helps go outside for a couple of minutes, you can do this on every rainy day even if you weren’t planning on a run, so you start to build a sense of how hard it actually is raining.
I hope this helps! And remember that you are either building your rain aversion or your running in the rain muscle. There is no in between. So start using these tactics to move up your rain proofing. Take baby steps at first and keep building. You’ll get to a point where running in the rain is just part of exercise. Hell you might even enjoy it.
Is something else stopping you from getting out? Read - Battling Excuses To Stay Inside