It looks like it may rain for Broad Street Run today. The thought of running 10 miles in the rain can be a little daunting. Here are some tips to help make your run in the rain easier.
1. Lube your body. Chafing is caused by repeated motion of your skin rubbing against fabric while you run and moisture from sweat or rain makes it worse. Be sure to spread Bodyglide, Vaseline, or even a little deodorant on the parts of your body that may chafe or get blisters—your feet, inner thighs, underarms, and sports bra lines or nipples (for men).
2. Wear a lightweight (or disposable) poncho or trash bag. This will help keep you dry while you wait at the start. Once you start running the plastic will trap heat, so you will want something that can be easily removed or tossed.
3. Wear a hat with a brim. It will help keep the rain off your face.
4. Protect your electronics. Put your cell phone and iPod in a zip lock baggie or waterproof carrier.
5. Do not wear cotton. Once cotton gets wet it stays wet — and it becomes heavy! Make sure the layer closest to your skin is a technical fabric. It will draw moisture and sweat away from your skin.
6. Don't overdress. Wearing more layers will not keep you dry. Dress for the temperature. If it rains, you will get wet, so the more you have on, the more heavy, wet clothes you will be carrying on you while you run.
7. Pack extra clothes. You'll want to check some dry gear at the start to have on hand at the finish. The gear check process is pretty painless and you'll be thankful for the change of clothes at the end of the run.
8. Get some newspaper. After the run, be sure to stuff your sneakers with crumpled balls of newspaper. This helps your sneakers keep their shape and the paper draws moisture away from the shoes.
You've done all the hard work up, now you just have to try to relax and surrender to the rain. Once your mind stops fighting it, running in the rain can be really exhilarating.
Catherine Williams-Frank is an RRCA-Certified coach and founder of Run with Endurance Coaching based out of Philadelphia, Pa.