Spring Forward into April Showers

"spring...when the world is puddle-wonderful" — e.e. cummings

Rainy days can dampen your enthusiasm for a run. Rather than let the weather give you excuses for skipping runs, you can embrace the experience by doing just a few things to prepare and have fun with it.*

Dress for the rain by wearing a hat with a brim. Keeping the water off your face and out of your eyes makes a big difference in enjoying a rainy run. A waterproof jacket can keep you feeling relatively dry and free of chafing. While you might already be used to wearing shorts this spring, rain combined with windchill in temperatures under 50 degrees can make you feel colder, so put those running pants or tights back on! Petroleum jelly on high friction areas of your feet can prevent blisters.

Rain can make it harder to stay properly warmed up and stretched, so it's okay to postpone harder and longer runs for a nicer day. Keep a pair of older shoes on hand that you won't mind getting wet, and do a shorter, easier run. Go ahead and jump in the big puddles, you know you want to. Just don't soak your feet at the very beginning of a 8 miler (another reason to keep it short). You don't want to do this with your brand new spring running shoes, as soaked cushioning is never quite the same afterwards. Running slower will also help you avoid slipping on wet roads, paths or mud.

Don't linger or do errands in your wet clothes at the end of your run. While you just might be able to make the drowned rat look seem cute, it's best to avoid hypothermia and get out of the wet gear as soon as possible and into a warm shower and dry towels. Remove your shoe's insoles and stuff them with newspaper to help them dry out, but avoid the dryer, which will damage them.

If you have any other tips for making a rainy day run enjoyable, please share below!

*While it was raining as I wrote this, it turned to snow! There is an icy glaze covering many sidewalks and streets of Chicago and throughout the Midwest. You may want to refer to my previous piece, Liven Up Your Treadmill Runs!

Tony has been a runner for over three decades, competing in cross country and track in high school and college, and road races for various clubs. He's served as team captain for several Corporate Challenge teams at YMCA of the USA, and has informally coached many friends over the years.

Tags: Y, YMCA, Run, Running, Jog, fitness, rain, bad weather

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