Yay!!!! After three LONG weeks of running through the snow, we FINALLY have warmer temperatures. I can now see about 90% of my front yard…but that is largely thanks to the steady rain falling outside. BOO!!!!
Obviously, we would all love endless blue skies and warmish-cool temperatures for our runs… But it is SO important that we train through what Mother Nature gives us, because we don’t ever know what is going to happen on race day!
Now I know safety is a concern when it snows and when February thunderstorms knock all our power out – so a lot of us have gone indoors to the dread-mill…. But there is absolutely NO excuse for training indoors when it’s raining. Because while we can be pretty certain we won’t have a snow storm for our late-April, early-May marathons (although NOTHING is impossible) there is a HIGH likely-hood it could be pouring buckets when we wake-up on race day.
And we don’t want to be unprepared! Because the Golden Rule of the Marathon is ‘Don’t try ANYTHING new on race day!’
So instead of being disappointed about your rainy run, thank the Lord for giving you an awesome opportunity to get acclimated to running in the rain. Because after you do it a few times – especially on long runs – you’ll realize what a blessing a little (notice I didn’t say a monsoon) rain is on race day when it’s 80 degrees and you’re sweating profusely at mile 16 (like I was during my first full.) I literally turned my face up to the heavens and praised the droplets washing the salt from my forehead!
I think my biggest concern during my first training season was my feet! I didn’t want my feet to get wet, because I was SO concerned about blisters. Let me first say, “Do NOT worry!!!!” I know that’s easier said than done, but it is true. If you take the proper precautions, you will be fine. And if you do develop blisters or lose toenails (Thank God I have yet to experience that lovely running phenomenon), you were probably just as susceptible during normal training runs.
Here are a few tips for keeping your feet blister-free:
1) FIRST AND FOREMOST!!!! USE BODYGLIDE!!!! I cannot stress this enough! I swear by this product. You can find it on-line or at Dick’s Sporting Goods, but I always encourage people to support their local running stores that will all definitely carry this product. The type I use goes on like a stick of deodorant, and I rub it ALL over my feet. The bottom, the top, and especially in between my toes (which is where I tend to get blisters.)
(I also use this product in unmentionable places…although if you’ve run a marathon, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about! If this is your first marathon, you will SOON know exactly what I'm talking about!) Body Glide is an anti-chafing cream, so it should be applied anywhere your skin rubs under your clothes or where your clothes rub your skin…so under sports bras for the ladies, and nipples for the guys (Hey, nobody said running the marathon was pretty.) A lot of people chafe where their arms rub their rib cage. And then under underwear…or where your underwear would be if you were wearing underwear…use your imagination! And if you can’t, I’m sure there’s a YouTube video about it… I have friends that HATE Body Glide!!!! We actually had a conversation about it on our last training run. Some people use baby care products like Desitin and Aquaphor. Again, be glad you can play around with what works for you during training…and don’t try ANYTHING new on race day!
Body Glide will be your BEST friend during long or rainy training runs!
2) Wear the proper socks – preferably a dry wick material. I prefer wool socks during rain runs…I actually wear my hiking socks…but a lot of people think wool is too hot – especially on those 80-degree days. Just make sure you invest in high-quality, running socks. Yes, it may seem ridiculous to spend $15 on a pair of socks…but your feet will thank you! I know some people who wear two pairs of socks during the rain…I don’t during the rain, but I do when it is bitter cold. Again, just remember the Golden Rule and try this out on a shorter training run to see if it feels good to you.
Smartwool makes AWESOME socks!
3) I have seen people Duct Tape the tops of their shoes to try to keep the water out. A girl in my pace group actually did it a few weeks ago while running in the snow. She said it worked pretty well until she stepped in a huge puddle. If it is REALLY raining, your feet are going to get wet… Don’t waste your time trying to avoid the inevitable.
4) On race day, wear Wal-Mart sacks over your shoes to the start line. I know this seems to contradict what I just said about Duct Tape, but you don’t want your feet to get wet before you start moving and warm-up your internal heater. If your feet get wet while your standing still for an hour, your whole body will follow.
While our feet seem to be the most important body part during rainy runs, similar principles apply to the whole body.
1) Like I said above, apply Body Glide ALL over!
2) Wear dry wick clothing.
3) Wear a running visor or hat. This will keep the rain out of your eyes.
4) Like I blogged about when talking about cold-weather running, I ALWAYS wear my trusty garbage bag! I do NOT care one bit that I look like an idiot!
5) Take dry clothes to change into after your run. Your body temp will fall quickly after you stop moving.
ENJOY THE CLEAR SIDEWALKS!!!!!