What to wear on rainy day (Read 134 times)


    Normally rain is not a concern for me during training, but I am going to do a 12-hr run in Nov and I don't want to be caught unprepared just in case it's cold and wet all day (chance is low but not zero). Weather history shows temp in the 40-70F range. Since I will be running really slow it may be difficult to keep myself warm if it rains. Will someone share his/her experiences on running in the rain for an extended time? Will trash bag work during the run? Should this even be a concern? Thanks

      I used Marmot Precip top, and I think the rain bottoms I used might have been Marmot Precip also = my bombproof gear. It was my first attempt at 38mi (no trailheads in between), rain was forecast for all day (we did get to start with it dry). The year before in a different race, I'd gotten caught in rain above treeline but decided I didn't need to put my raingear back on and had legs so numb I could barely negotiate the downhills on the trail. When I got above treeline and into the rain and wind on my 38-miler and could see no trees in the near future (several miles of trail above treeline), I stopped and put my top and bottom raingear on. I learn quickly. It was actually chilly enough, that I wished I had another layer - but I was 19miles from the trailhead, so just kept moving.


      Marmot Precip does not breathe, but it has pit zips. When I feel a need for my Precips, it's generally cold enough and/or windy enough that the pitzips provide all the ventilation I need. Just remember to keep the zipper shut on the upwind side. (don't ask how I know) They might be too heavy for your conditions, but they're worth their weight in gold for me.


      I was probably out about 9-10 hrs in rain or running through vegetation that was still wet enough to keep my rain gear on.


      Hypothermia is something very real and can affect your ability to make decisions, like which way the trail is headed.


      In the 40-70F range, you can still get hypothermia if out long enough. If it's intermittent rain and closer to 60F, I've used something like Patagonia Houdini (same trail). It's reasonably windproof (which is good where I am), not breathable, dries fast, and has a decent hood on it. I used that with no rain pants the next year in intermittent rain for multiple hours - as I'd warm up, the rain started again, when I started to get cold and think about adding my actual raingear, the rain stopped and I warmed up. I'd also trained a lot in the rain that summer so I knew about what I could tolerate for cold/wet with various gear or no gear.


      Be sure to keep your calories up.


      MTA: Trash bag wouldn't have worked for me since I had a pack with food and fluids for 13 hrs (well, refilled fluids at streams).


      If your run is a 12-hr run around a relatively small loop (say, < 1 hr to get around where you don't need to carry things), the trash bag may work.

      "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

      Half Fanatic #846

        I've only run up to 2 1/2 hours in the rain in that temp. range, and I only got cold afterward - not during the run; I don't know about hours longer.  But carrying a plastic trash bag sounds like the perfect "back up plan" to me!

        "I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's usually my ankle" - unk.                          Run like the winded

         I ran half my last race on my left foot!                   "Frankly autocorrect, I'm getting a bit tired of your shirt"

          Be sure to use a billed cap or hood to keep rain out of your eyes. (says she as she went running in rain this evening without one)


          Also, MTA again. In my first reply I was thinking 12 hr of rain (we've been having a lot of rain so had rain on brain), but your post suggested it might not even rain and it is a couple months off yet. So, yea, some sort of stop gap method could work, esp. if you're around aid stations or other sorts of aid. Precip might be overkill, unless you already had something like that. I just used a somewhat water resistant shell this evening.

          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


            Thanks AK! I will run in a small loop (only 2 miles), I will keep an eye out for the weather the week before the race, and it is good to know what to look for at REI if the weather heads for the worse. Thanks for the cap suggestion, I have not thought of that. I will be close to aid stations so the main worry is just that I don't want to give up running time to sitting around trying to dry or warm myself up, especially during morning/evening when in the lower end of the temp range.

              If I'm doing a long run I get soaked just from sweating, even below freezing. But yeah, the rain adds to the misery factor a little. I've done some long runs in the upper 30s and 40s in steady rain and find there is no way to avoid getting soaked. It's going to happen from the inside out or outside in.


              I've found wool to be the best solution for me. I've got a bunch of smartwool and icebreaker items for this. It's like wearing a wetsuit. Yeah, you are wet but not cold. Same thing with the feet... wool.

                Something to consider also might be a poncho - disposable from <$1, to vinyl for about $5-$10, to nylon for about $25. Definitely more ventilation than rain jacket, but may not work too much better than a trash bag. We used to wear them backpacking all the time (back east, early 70s, late 60s), but haven't run in them. You can probably find something in grocery store (well, our grocery stores) or big box store.


                I'm one that does get cold and almost hypothermic and not a heavy sweater.


                Having dry top(s) to change into might be a good idea also if you opt to just get wet. That can break your rhythm, if you've got a good one going.


                (looking at weather forecast to see if I need to put my snow tires on to drive to and from my race this coming weekend - need to drive through mountain pass)

                "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog