Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What to Wear Running in the Rain

Never bring a wind breaker to a rain storm. Here's what I wore and why it didn't work.

Temperature: 45 degrees F (5 C)
Water marks

Humidity: 100%, raining hard
Wind: ~10mph
Terrain: Rolling hills
Distance: 4 miles

What I wore: Light-weight tights short-sleeve, wicking top; and a wind breaker.

Why: It was too warm for any of my "real" rain jackets but too cold to just wear a technical top. I thought the wind breaker would be the perfect balance.

I also needed a place to put my iPhone so I could track my miles.

Did it work? No. As the t-shirt photo shows, my upper half was soaked. So were my tights, but that's ok. In the rain and/or cold, what I really worry about is head, core and hands. Keeping these dry and/or warm are key to staying healthy and keeping muscles functioning.

Instead, my hat was water logged, the wind breaker broke the wind but not the water and my hands were freezing. Happily, my phone stayed dry thanks to being in my tight's pocket, under the jacket.

On the trail
What to Wear: Being too warm can be as bad as being too cold, so I don't recommend a rain jacket that doesn't breath or have vents. The best are pit-zips - zippered vents that run along your under arms to your torso.

Between 40 and 55 degrees, you'll want a light layer that keeps you dry for as long as possible. It may not be perfect, but it should give you time to warm up before letting the rain seep in.

Note: One of the things I like about this Puma jacket is the high, fitted collar. At least I didn't have rivulets of water running down my neck!

Enjoy your spring running. It's a beautiful time of year to be outside.