Monday, December 3, 2012

Tales from Training: My Essential Rain Running Gear

Whether you like to admit or not, winter is upon us and that means a change in training wardrobe for many (most? all?) of us.  Recently here in the San Francisco Bay Area we have had heavy (meh) rain (yay!) and wind (meh). 

Rain running is quite possibly one of my all time favorite kinds of running.  Now understand that I am not talking about 30+mph sustained winds and rainfall averages totaling more than 2" in a 24hr period like those who did the California International Marathon today experienced (can you say BAMF-ers??) but give me light to moderate rain with similar winds and I am one happy runner.

That said, I have 5 pieces of gear that make rain running so enjoyable and are essential to any runner looking to escape the dreadmill simply because it's gone a bit grey outside.

#5 - Lightweight rain resistant or rain proof jacket/shell or vest.  Just because it rains doesn't mean its going to be cold, so something lightweight is highly versatile and can be layered if extra warmth is necessary.  Currently I'm a fan of this Brooks Nighttime Essentials Run Jacket II, Brooks Nighttime Essentials Run Vest II, or Asics Reflector Jacket as they all have the added safety of keeping you visible in the short days of winter with reflective technology built right in.

Books Nighttime Essentials Run Jacket II
#4 - I could easily leave this with two words: Smartwool Baselayers.  Wool and wool blends are breathable, warm even when wet, and are available in a variety of weights/thicknesses so that you can find something that works if you consider cold 60* or 10*.  Often I forgo the rain jacket all together during warmer rain runs and just stick to my wool run gear.

 #3 - Here again Smartwool is a winner in my book.  Same as with the baselayers, wool and wool blend socks are breathable, stay warm even when wet, and are all around super comfy.  I wear these Hincapie Socks anytime I'm out in bad weather as casual socks simply because they are so darn cozy.  My feel love them.

#2 - Brimmed hat or visor to keep the rain out of my face.  Rain only seems to bother me if its directly hitting my face or getting into my eyes and a hat is the most simple solution to this problem.  I wear the same hats year around to keep the sun or rain out of my eyes.  ;)

#1 - The right attitude and sense of adventure.  To me, rain running is a privilege.  When bad weather has driven the average person indoors and/or to the gym it leaves me (you) to have the paths, trails, and sidewalks to ourselves.  Your pace might slow, you might have to dodge around some debris, but treat it as a obstacle course or agility test, not as a hindrance.  As a kid you likely would have given anything for the "green light" to go run through the puddles and leap over the river that has formed in the gutter, now is your chance to seize it.  You may come home dirtier than typical, dripping wet, and with a pace on your Garmin you are unhappy with, but it has been my experience that if you go into a rain run with a thankful heart, you come home with muddy legs but a light heart and little worry to what the Garmin says at all. 

So next time the radar looks like this:

Just prepare to come home like this:

 And you won't regret it. :)

Are there any rain running essentials you'd add to my list?

1 comment:

Bari said...

Love that jacket!