If you’re on a long run of say 10 miles or more, you need to start thinking about fuelling. Some runners are happy using gels and electrolytes, however personally I find them too sickly and so I prefer to fuel with ‘proper’ food. Now the thing you need to consider when wet weather trail running is how you’re going to store your snacks so that they don’t get wet. Things like nuts, dried fruits, jelly babies etc. can be put in small Ziploc bags and then put in the pocket of your waterproof jacket or in a pocket of your hydration vest if you’re wearing one. Avoid snacks that are packaged in paper or cardboard, as these will invariably be soggy by the time you need to eat them.
The beauty of trail running is that it allows you to escape your phone for a while, and heaven knows we could all do with that. However, to me running without a phone is as daunting as running naked. OK, maybe not quite as daunting, but in terms of safety I definitely feel less vulnerable as a female solo runner knowing I have a phone on my person. Aside from the safety element, I also use my phone to track my runs, use maps, check the time, and to also stop and take the odd run selfie or two.
So, I think we’ve established that we’ll likely have our phone with us when we run, which means we then need to think about how we’re going to stop it getting wet. Although most smartphones these days are relatively waterproof in their own right, they still need protection, especially if you are expecting to be out in the rain for a long time. And pockets are great, but if you’re caught in a torrential downpour, pockets are nowhere near enough. Invest in a waterproof pouch or dry bag to give your phone optimum protection from the elements.
One of the cheapest items you can buy as part of your wet weather run kit is a buff. Also called a neck gaitor or a snood, a buff is basically a tube of material that is worn around the neck. And boy do we need that when it rains, because with rain often comes wind and cold temperatures and once you get cold it can be very hard to warm up again. A buff stops cold breezes and rain drops from getting down your neck and so adds another protective layer to your wet weather running armour. Buffs are also great for wiping away rain from your face and out of your eyes, plus as grim as it sounds, they’re handy for wiping your nose on. I mean come on, as if a tissue is going to last 5 seconds in this kind of weather!
9. Wet Weather Running Clothes
You’ll probably start your run feeling cold, but it won’t take long before you warm up and you’ll be desperate to shed some layers. But of course, if it’s raining there’s the risk you’ll be soaked to the skin if you start taking too much off. I’ve already talked about waterproof jackets, but what about the rest of the clothes you should wear when trail running in wet weather?
Keep your running clothes as lightweight as possible and choose items that are made out of nylon or polyester. Look out for clothes that have moisture-wicking properties. These will wick sweat away from your body, thus preventing you from getting too cold, and will also keep the clothes feeling lighter as the fabric won’t be absorbing unnecessary moisture.
Wet weather running is all about those layers. Wear a water-resistant outer layer, then layer up beneath with a moisture wicking long sleeved top, and then a supportive sports bra. Wearing tight fitting clothing should prevent chafing and will also help to regulate your temperature better. And finally choose a fabric that dries quickly, so that if and when the rain finally does clear up, you’ll hopefully dry up pretty soon after too!
10. Lights/Reflective Gear
Now that the clocks have gone forward this is slightly less of a problem, however a rainy day is a lot darker and so making sure you’re visible is a really important factor to consider when wet weather trail running. Always wear at least one item of brightly coloured clothing, that ideally has some form of reflective strips on them too. If you’re running early morning or later in the evening, when the natural light levels are low, it’s worth wearing a light to make yourself extra visible, especially to drivers if some of your run is on road. I personally prefer wearing a chest light rather than a head lamp as I find it lights the way more consistently and feels a lot more comfortable. Although it is a faff to remove if you get hot and need to take off a layer of clothing. If you run with your dog, you should also think about how well they’re lit up too. I have a black Cockapoo who I regularly run with, and if we run when it’s darker he wears a blue light up collar. I call it his disco collar because it totally looks like he’s going out raving, but it certainly does the job!
So, have I convinced you that running in the rain is fun yet? As that famous saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. Wet weather trail running is an adventure. It adds a whole different element to your trail run. And yes, it’s dirty, and muddy, and wet, and slippy, and sometimes cold. But by making sure you’re kitted out with all the correct wet weather gear there’s nothing to stop you getting out there and tackling those technical trails.
*adidas trainers gifted as part of a collaborative deal.
Do you have any top tips for wet weather trail running?
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Becky Stafferton is a full time content creator and web publisher. She continually strives to promote a realistic, sustainable and positive image of how to lead a healthy life. When she’s not writing or reading her teenage diary she can be found swigging Prosecco from the bottle, running through muddy puddles, making lists of lists, having a good old moan, scoffing flapjacks, renovating her brand new house in the country, and squatting like her life depends on it.
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