The Joy of Running in the Rain


No, it’s not glamorous, but at least I got a kiss at the end!

Why don’t more people run in the rain? This is a question I’ve asked myself for over thirty years, and today, I’m putting it online, hoping to get some answers.

Sure, I understand why people avoid the rain if they’re dressed up or going someplace where they won’t be able to change their clothes. Sitting around in wet clothing all day or night sucks. But most runners I’ve met over the years get pretty sweaty when they exercise and take a shower afterwards anyway, so what’s the big deal with getting wet outdoors? Especially when there’s a beautiful, warm rain, like today?

Yesterday–a shiny, sunny morning–when the dog and I went out for our morning jog, we saw at least twenty runners. We live in a highly populated area, and we’re lucky to have some great trails nearby. In fact, these trails are so busy on sunny days that they can actually be dangerous. (The danger comes from bikers who don’t always play nice with people on foot, but let’s not talk about that.) Today, however, we literally had the trails to ourselves, as we saw absolutely no other runners. And it was far from the first time. Ever since I started running in high school, I’ve noticed this odd phenomenon. People love to run in the sunshine, but most take a day off or exercise indoors whenever the sky decides to unleash some water.

I’ll admit that getting started isn’t always easy. That first jump out of the nice, dry house into the rain is a little like plunging into a swimming pool. Despite the fact that our bodies are more than fifty percent water, most of us have a natural aversion to that sudden change from dry to wet. But once you’re thoroughly soaked, it feels so refreshing, particularly on a warm day. No need to worry about overheating; you’ve got nature’s free misting tent all around you. Given the choice between a hot, sunny day, and a warm, rainy one, I’ll take the rainy one every time.

Yes, your sneakers will get wet, and I agree that’s not the greatest thing. I do try to avoid large puddles, and sometimes take the insoles out of the shoes when I get home to help them dry more quickly. But I’ve also put wet shoes on many times, and it’s not so bad.

So here’s my suggestion: if you’ve been missing the opportunity to run in the rain, give it a shot. You might find that you love it too.

About Mary Rowen

My three published novels, LEAVING THE BEACH (a 2016 IPPY Award winner), LIVING BY EAR, and IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY focus on women figuring out who they are and what they want from life. Music and musicians have a way of finding their way into the stories. I live in the Boston area with my family and pets.
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15 Responses to The Joy of Running in the Rain

  1. Sarah Monsma says:

    I don’t like running whether in rain or sunshine, but I enjoy walking in the rain. I noticed the same thing today with dogs. Usually we see many dogs out. Today we saw not one. Dog people really not walk their dogs on rainy days? Gypsy wouldn’t stand for it! We do tend to move faster in the rain though, so it’s better exercise for me. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ralph says:

    What’s rain ? πŸ˜€ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jan says:

    I’d love to be able to run in the rain but we’re not getting any! Send some our way, please!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Rowen says:

    Wish I could, Jan. We need rain here, but you guys REALLY need it. I do hope this weather pattern somehow makes its way west.


  5. Lauren says:

    Kudos for you for going out this morning – it was pretty miserable out there! I too though like running in the (light!) rain – I find it very freeing and fun. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Rowen says:

      Thanks, Lauren! We should plan a rainy run together sometime soon. I think there will be a few more opportunities over the next week, as the weather report seems to indicate lots more precipitation.


  6. Sheila says:

    Loved this! What a great perspective on embracing what most of us feel diminishes the day because it isn’t sunny or because it can be tough to drive and get around in. It sounded like it made you feel way more energized and connected to the earth, too. Awesome Mary! Thanks for the inspiration! xo


  7. Mary Rowen says:

    Thanks, Sheila! I definitely do think being out in the elements brings us closer to the earth. But driving in the rain? Ugh. No joy there! I hope you don’t need to do much driving tomorrow and Saturday, because it looks like the roads might be slow going.


  8. wccunningham says:

    I’ve ran in the snow when it was about 20 outside. Does that count?

    I have never ran in the rain and sadly have used it (and everything else lately) as an excuse not to run.

    Empty trails are great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Rowen says:

      Yes! Snow counts as double!! And don’t beat yourself up over not running lately. Think of it as an opportunity to rest your knees and other joints. I’ve been reading recently about the long-term damage of constant running, so it’s probably best to take some breaks. Thanks for the comment, Bill!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. MartynWrites says:

    I used to run regularly, less so these days but yes, running in the rain is such a liberation, particularly when it’s a really heavy downpour and all you can do is get wet. You just have to accept and get on with it. There’s a liberation in that.


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