RRCA Certified Coach & Nutrition Minor
Lets run in all types of weather! Discover everything from how to dress to how to stay safe in the rain, snow, humidity, heat, cold, and wind!
What to wear running in the rain; everything from types of clothing to what to bring with you. Learn how best to tackle those workouts even in the rain.
A rain jacket is just the waterproof shell of a jacket, there is no lining or insulation – this is important because when it’s raining, it’s not always cold! So you may not want an insulated jacket because you could get too warm, but you do want something to help keep you dry.
The brim of a hat or visor will help keep the rain out of your eyes while your running. Without this brim you will likely squint a lot and potentially be unable to see hazards in your way.
Your feet WILL get wet, that’s just a fact when running in the rain. So make sure you have a pair of fresh socks and shoes in the car to change into as soon as you’ve completed your workout. This will help you not only feel better after the run but it may help you warm up if you’ve gotten cold and it can help prevent blisters.
If your watch, earbuds, phone, or music player are not waterproof you should probably leave them behind. If you want or need to bring along something that is not waterproof there are small zipper-style waterproof bags you can purchase to places these items in and then wear them on your person. Just be sure they are completely closed up so that no water gets in while you are running.
There are several brands that make these, the most well-known is probably Yak Trax, but they are also some of the more expensive options. Whichever brand you choose, it is wise to invest in a pair for snow running. These strap-on spikes allow you to run on ice patches and slippery areas without falling.
Fleece or wool-lined clothing will help insulate your body and keep you warmer in these freezing temperatures. If you simply wear cotton or poly blends you will find yourself getting cold quickly, or never actually warming up on your run.
The yellow tinted sunglasses allow you to see in the dimmer light of cloud cover while still keeping your eyes safe from any sun glare off the snow when the sun does shine and any snowflakes in your eyes and eyelashes as the snow falls.
Fresh snow makes it impossible to tell which way a trail winds and turns. It is all too easy to get lost, and then the combination of being wet and cold becomes very dangerous. Even if the snow has been somewhat packed down; please take caution when on trails as not all of the snow will be packed; this leaves hazardous areas to turn ankles, get stuck, or even have an avalanche.
If you think you sweat now, just wait until you run in the humidity! Preparing for, and running in the humidity is a lot like running in hot weather, but there are a few differences we have addressed below.
Humidity increases the amount you sweat when exercising so it is important to hydrate before exercise and after in order to prep for and then replenish the water that is lost.
Loose clothing allows for better evaporation in the humidity, which in turn helps cool down the body.
Humidity makes warm temperatures feel even warmer, so be prepared to sweat more than you normally would during exercise. This may mean bringing along something to wipe your brow so that you don’t get sweat in your eyes.
There is more to worry about than simply hydrating properly when it comes to running in hot weather. We cover hydration, chafing, and even animals below.
In hot weather that isn’t necessarily humid, you may find that the body sweats just enough to make the perfect scenario for chafing. There are several anti-chafing products you can apply to sensitive areas such as the armpits and inner thighs to avoid this painful issue.
In the heat of the summer it is important to have water readily available during your workouts. This means packing water along with you in either a backpack, hip-pack, or handheld. You will find that sipping on water all throughout the run will actually help energize you for the entire workout.
Hydration is not simply H20, the body needs certain electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to use and absorb that water properly inside your body. In really hot weather it is important to occasionally add an electrolyte mix to your water to ensure proper hydration.
Dehydration comes in 3 different steps (we go over them in depth in this blog article) – you should know and be able to recognize these steps in your own body so that you can take the proper steps to fix the issue before it becomes an emergency.
Summertime and warm weather is not just enticing to runners, it is the best hunting season for several animals. Beware of animals on the trails and on the streets including mountain lions, rattle snakes, and more.
The cooler the temperature the better during the summer heat wave, which means run in the AM as often as possible. The weather will almost always be the coolest in the morning hours before or just as the sun is rising. The evening also begins to cool off, but it typically does not reach the lower temperatures until late into the night, which makes morning runs the perfect solution during the hottest of summer days.
Cotton absorbs sweat and holds it close to your body causing a normally hot day to also feel humid. With sweat wicking materials, the body can more properly go through the evaporation process that helps keep our internal temperature even.
It is surprising how hot the feet get inside socks and shoes and then pounding the warm ground or hot pavement. A great way to help avoid blisters and cool off more quickly after a run is to remove both your socks and your shoes when the workout is complete.
Running in cold weather can be quite miserable if you are not properly prepared. We cover the best ways to cover up and stay safe in this section about running in the cold.
The best way to stay warm in cold weather is to wear layers. Now as a runner, you don’t want a bunch of bulk, so be sure to later with optimal materials such as wool and fleece brushed. If possible for your workout, wear one more layer than you think you’ll need for the first mile and then take that layer off and drop it at the car or back at the house before continuing on with the rest of your cold-weather run.
Gloves are a surprisingly important item in cold weather; when running, the hands have a lot of motion through the chilling air, so leaving them exposed can turn them into little icicles.
Occasionally in really cold weather, you may need to double up and not only wear gloves, but add mittens over the top to help trap in the extra heat escaping.
The seams I refer to are areas of the body often exposed to the elements; ankles, wrists, neck, and midriff.
Wear high socks that can be put on before the first layer of running tights to ensure the tights fit over the socks and there is no “seam” left behind.
Only buy long sleeves that have a long enough sleeve…this isn’t as big of an issue these days since running brands have taken on the style of the “thumb hole” in the sleeve, allowing users to slip their thumb through and keep the sleeves down over the wrists.
Scarves are a pain to run with; so some amazing manufacturer came up with the “running scarf” or neck gaiter that is a warm infinity scarf that stays close to the neck, but is long enough to even pull up over the nose if you prefer.
You may be thinking that in the winter-time you won’t be exposing your midriff, you’ll have it covered in the layers we spoke about earlier…but wearing a crop top isn’t the kind of exposure I’m talking about. When we run our clothes move too, and oftentimes shirts ride up just a little bit and can allow a breeze to come under. A great way to stop this is simply by tucking in your first layer!
Whether it is with a headband or a full on beanie, covering your head will keep you much warmer! The sweat produced on the forehead, when exposed to the cold air can create a “freezing” point of sorts on your forehead which is not only uncomfortable, but can cause headaches too.
With colder temperatures often comes darker days. It is important to wear clothing that has reflective patterns on them so that cars and bikes can see where you are. If your favorite running shirt and pants happens to not have any reflective pattern, there are slap-on bracelets or even iron-on patterns you can add to your outfit to ensure you’ll be seen.
Running in the wind is brutal! If we are being completely honest over here at A Better Run, most of us avoid doing this all-together. But for those that are looking to take on the elements, we’ve got a few tips for you.
Wind is just mean both physically and mentally to a runner. It may just be better to find a gym or treadmill of some kind and take the workout indoors on a windy day.
If you are going to run outside, find an area that won’t be as windy. Find a park or trail, or even neighborhood that is guarded by mountains our trees so that the wind will be less harsh.
Wind-burn is a real thing and it can happen to the exposed areas of a runner who is running against the wind for an extended period of time. Wear chapstick to help prevent getting wind-burned lips.
This is for both male and female runners that have hair long enough to get in their eyes. Wear a ponytail, a headband, or whatever it takes to keep your hair back and out of your face. The wind can whip that hair into your eyes and make it difficult to see where you are going. Not to mention frustrate the living daylights out of you.
Need Help Running in the Elements?
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RRCA Certified Coach & Nutrition Minor