This weekend marks one of the biggest events in North San Diego County: the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon. Unfortunately, there is rain in the forecast for the weekend, which means it's time to revise your race plan.
Running in the rain doesn't have to be a terrible experience. While not ideal, it does have its positive aspects. For one, the sun won't be in your eyes and the temperatures are generally lower. But, running a race in the rain does take some preparation. Here are some tips to help you get through your race should it be raining:
- Plan to layer your clothes. While all your running clothes should be non-cotton, technical fabrics, it is absolutely essential that your bottom layer be technical. This will help keep you the most warm and dry in rainy weather. Your outer layer should be a water-resistant jacket or vest which will help keep the water out and you warm.
- Don't overdo the layers. Dress for the temperatures as if it were a dry day. The possibility of rain doesn't give you an invitation to overdress and wearing additional layers will not keep you dry.
- Wear a hat with a brim. Be sure you're sporting a true technical hat and not your average cotton baseball cap as that will absorb the rain and become quite heavy. While it won't keep your head completely dry, a light, technical hat will keep the rain out of your eyes.
- Wear a garbage bag before the race. Yes, people wearing garbage bags do often get the odd look or chuckle, but in rainy weather, garbage bags or ponchos are your best bet to keep warm and dry. Simply cut a head and arm holes in a large bag or purchase a poncho from a sporting goods store. Either way, you'll be warm and dry.
- Wear old shoes for as long as you can. One of the best parts about the Carlsbad races is that you can stay in your car right up until it's time to get to the starting line. Wear old shoes and socks for as long as possible to prevent your running shoes from getting wet.
- Wear Body Glide or Vaseline. Chances are, you've most likely experienced some kind of chafing as you trained for your half or full marathon. But you may be more prone to chafing or blisters in the rain, especially on your feet. Be sure to apply a nice, thick layer prior to race start to all your hot spots.
- Watch where you're going. The roads are going to be slick if it's raining, so be sure to watch where you're going. Try to avoid especially slippery spots like lines in the road and manhole covers. And if you can help it, try not to run through puddles as this will really soak those shoes.
- Slow down. Trying to run your normal pace on slick, wet roads is a tricky thing to do. Use your best judgment when it comes to pace. Things can get a little chaotic in a rainy race, so just watch your footing and don't zig zag around people. Shortening your stride can help keep things under control. The last thing you'll want is a fall!