Dressing for the rain can be tricky—whether you’re just doing a normal training run or have the Boston Marathon to compete with. But a developing a flexible running wardrobe will cover you during all kinds of wet runs and races.
Here are some suggestions on what to wear:
Hats or Visors
Wearing something with a brim is one of the best ways to keep rain out of your eyes. For cold, rainy runs in the 30s or 40s, consider adding a light beanie or headband for warmth. A waterproof cap will help keep your head warm and dry(er).
Or, if you don’t mind a MacGyver look, wear a shower cap over your hat or visor (funny-looking, but effective). When it’s above 55 degrees, visors are best—they allow heat to escape through your head more efficiently.
In a driving rain, wearing a pair of light-tinted or clear glasses can help protect your eyes from getting pelted. A good anti-fog lens cleaner will keep your vision clear in the moisture and humidity.
Jacket, Vest, or Trash Bag
Invest in a lightweight, waterproof shell jacket—not necessarily one that’s marketed to runners—to stay dry on cold, rainy runs and during other rainy day activities. These jackets may not breathe as well as running-specific ones, but they are best at keeping rain out.
For warmer rainy runs, try an ultra lightweight rain-resistant running jacket or vest. Before a race, use a large garbage bag with a hole poked in the bottom for your head. Fashionistas can use a smaller cinch bag for a better look—I once ran half a marathon in a white bag to stay dry, and my race photos were fabulous.
Lightweight Wicking Apparel in Dark Colors
Wicking apparel is key—it pulls moisture away from your skin, which helps prevent chafing and blisters. Tighter tops and bottoms are less likely to chafe. Light-colored bras, tops, and bottoms become see-through when wet, so stick to darker colors in the rain.
Wearing a pair of wicking socks can make all the difference in preventing blisters from developing. My favorites are Drymax (no affiliation). I’ve worn them in races in the jungles of Fiji and Borneo and they dry very quickly.
Use an anti-chafe balm or petroleum jelly on your feet to help prevent blisters and on any other body part that may chafe (arms, nipples, legs, sports bra seam lines, etc.). In really wet conditions, consider using Bag Balm on your feet.
When you finish your run, get out of your wet clothes and into dry ones (or a warm shower) immediately. To help your shoes dry, remove the insoles and stuff the shoes with newspaper or paper towels. (And to keep them from being super smelly, consider some of these products that get the stink out.)
RW gear guy Jeff Dengate gives you a tip about how to keep your jacket secure while running if the weather warms up.