Finding the motivation to train when it’s raining is a common problem, and one from which not even the most committed runners are immune!
Weighing up the need to exercise, over the desire to stay warm, invariably falls in favour of the latter, but there are reasons to flip the script, especially if the path of least resistance (and puddles!) is showing signs of being your default for the rainy months ahead.
Running in the rain might not seem the most appealing option, BUT there is evidence to show that biting the bullet and embracing the elements can and does pay off.
Running in new conditions – wet, slick roads included – means your body has adapt to overcome a new demand, and your muscles will begin to anticipate the challenge, which can then maximise the results from your workout. Rain creates a new way of experiencing an old routine, which can also help quash some of the boredom that can come from running the same route on repeat.
Given the obstacles, there is a sense of pride and satisfaction attached to completing a rainy run, not to mention some important skills in dealing with adversity in the rest of life.
If this isn’t incentive enough, then there is the findings that rain (as nature’s most soothing soundtrack) can help promote a more mindful state. This is not just from the sound of the rain, but also because the conditions it creates, and the need for greater alertness in dodging puddles etc, which can cause your senses to elevate, distracting you from any worries or stresses. It helps, as well, that running in the rain is often a solo experience, with the sense of solitude as well acting as a form of meditation.
Physically speaking, the cooling effect of rain on body temperature can allow you to work harder and more efficiently.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is safety and preparation. For example, avoid running in thunderstorms, and make sure you dress appropriately, preferably in some trainers you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, and activewear which is more inclined to wick away than absorb moisture (cotton is a no no. Just saying!)