Happy Friday, everyone! And happy race weekend to all those running Saturday or Sunday!
Yesterday, I received a text from a friend who is running the Marine Corp Marathon Sunday. She was looking for some tips on running a marathon in the rain, due to the fact that Hurricane Sandy is most likely going to have an impact on their racing weather. I have experience running 26.2 in the rain (read about that experience here and here), so Andrea knew I would have some ideas on ways to salvage her race.
Although you might freak out about the thought of running a marathon in the rain (been there, done that!!), it really isn’t that bad. And it isn’t going to totally mess up your race. My first marathon experience was in the pouring down rain and 40 degrees. And I still look back at that day as being one of the best days of my life. I also got a BQ 🙂
So now let’s talk strategy about preparing for a run in the rain…We will start with at the bottom and work our way up.
Your feet are going to get wet no matter what, and your shoes are going to get super soggy and annoying. Make sure you put plenty of aquafor/vaseline/deodorant (deodorant is my favorite way to prevent chaffing and blisters) on your feet before putting on your socks. This will prevent friction and blisters from wreaking havoc during the race. I also suggest investing in a pair of dry fit socks. Those will deal with the rain much better than cotton.
Luckily for the MCM people, it won’t be nearly as cold as it was for my marathon in the rain. I made sure I had back up gloves for the race and switched them out halfway through. Dry fit gloves were my saving grace for the second 13.1.
Wearing the proper clothing will be very important on race day. I tried on every potential outfit I brought for the race the night before, and threw water on each one. This way I could see what instantly absorbed water, and what didn’t.
I also got pretty crafty and made a waterproof vest out of my expo bag. The reason why I didn’t just buy a vest was because I knew I would want to shed this thing at some point of the race. And I didn’t have someone there to throw things to at designated spots. I swear that everyone running that race commented on how smart we were for making our own vests. This kept our core warm and dry, and I ended up wearing it for 24 miles!
Another must do is wearing a poncho as long as you can up until the race start. This will help you stay dry before the race starts.
A hat is a must on race day. This will keep the water from hitting your face and driving you insane. It will also help you not look like a wet dog with sopping wet hair in every photo (the race photos matter, people!). I put an earband over my headband so I could toss it off if I wanted to and not have to remove my entire hat. It also helped hold the hat down because it was windy (which it will be for the MCM people as well).
I believe I have covered all areas of the body to prep for this race.
As I said early…running a marathon in rain isn’t as tragic as you may think it is. You can do it, and you can still have a great race!!
Good luck everyone, and let me know if you have any questions! I am happy to help out my fellow runners!