Running in the Rain: What to Wear

Have a question about running? You’re in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon’s Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.


I am running a half this Sunday, and the weather forecast is 80% chance of rain. I have never done a run in the rain. Should I change what I am going to wear? I sure don’t want to run in a rain-suit. I guess I will be wet from sweat anyway.


In 18 weeks of training, it never rained? I guess there has been a drought in the West, or it is possible that you avoided the Polar Vortex in the North by staying indoors and doing your long runs on a treadmill. Not to get on your back, but sometimes bad weather while working out is an advantage, because it helps us deal with different conditions. You need to stay warm, so you do need a layer or two depending on the temperature. Rain will cool you, which can be an advantage, or sometimes a disadvantage if you slow down toward the end, meaning you will get cold. Your salvation, however, comes in a single word: Wicking! If you do not have a race uniform featuring wicking fabrics, you need to head to your nearby running specialty store and ask them what you just asked me. Outfit yourself in some new wicking duds for your race on Sunday. Normally, I would not recommend that runners change anything that close to a race, but you may not have a choice if your previous planned outfit featured a cotton T-shirt from a 5-K race. Not to be a nag, but us runners do need to make our clothing choices well ahead of race day for all weather conditions we might encounter.

Hal Higdon

Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for'Runner's World'and author of 34 books, including the best-selling'Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. Higdon estimates that more than a quarter million runners have finished marathons using his training programs, and he also offers additional interactive programs at all distances through TrainingPeaks.Hal uses'TrainingPeaks'to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans.'Check out more of Hal Higdon's training plans here'or on'his website.