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Gear and Technology

How weatherproof jackets and other running apparel can positively impact your run

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To run in the rain or not to run in the rain? When you invest in quality running gear, you won't have to ask that question. Accessories like weatherproof jackets or hats can make all the difference in how willing you are to head out into the elements.

Running can be simple. You probably have the right sneakers, top, and shorts or leggings for your needs, but what about other accessories? Slogging through the rain or snow can sometimes be a drag, but it doesn't have to be. Adding a few additional pieces to your running gear can make getting out the door a little easier, and positively impact your mood on the run. Here are a few to consider for tackling those rainy-weather runs.

Weatherproof jackets

If you already have a jacket but it isn't made for running or exercise, chances are you may end up a sweaty mess early on in your run. That's because sports jackets, specifically ones designed for running, are made with materials like mesh linings, which allow for some ventilation. Your average weatherproof jacket may use different materials, which will keep you warm. That's not necessary for most runs, and you'll probably look a lot less prepared running in a rain slicker when there are jackets designed to make your run more comfortable.

Another perk of choosing a weatherproof running jacket is they are made to be lightweight, like the Brooks Carbonite, which also has reflective material for better visibility on the road. You should dress for at least 10 degrees warmer than when you're getting started, and just like the material of a weatherproof jacket may make you sweaty, having on too heavy of a jacket can also make you overheat.

The one time you should be looking for a jacket with a little more weight is when the weather is below 45 degrees. Even then, be smart about the layers you choose. If you do get warm while wearing your lightweight jacket (or if it stops raining), it should easily tie around your waist without being cumbersome.

Portable hydration

A quality hydration pack, whether a vest, belt, or even a handheld, will get you through long runs, summer runs, or a run after a night out (no judgment here). Running in the rain can fool you into thinking you're not thirsty, but don't take any chances on your long runs.

Keep in mind that knowing what sort of hydration is best for you can be a trial-and-error process. Do you prefer to have something in your hand, and if not, would you rather have something on your back or waist? The choice is yours. If that still doesn't work for you, consider planting hydration along your route or adding a convenience store or a friend's house to the route, so you won't have to carry anything.

Trackers or smartwatches

Rough weather and avoiding puddles (or trying to stay visible to cars) may impact your speed, but track it, or it didn't happen, right? We've all seen what happens when moisture gets in your phone's charging port. That's why many runners consider leaving their phones at home or in their car instead of taking a chance carrying it in their pocket.

Many runners will instead use a smartwatch to track their runs (and call for help if necessary) instead of relying on an app, and most apps can be connected to your watch after a run anyway. Others will buy a watch or tracker that's specifically designed for active lifestyles, like a Fitbit or a Garmin. These options tend to be waterproof. Some trackers may even have music capability, so there is less of a need to carry your phone. If you'd prefer to have your phone on you, stow the phone in the inner pocket of your weatherproof jacket or in your sports bra pocket.

Hats

It doesn't feel great to be pelted with rain, no matter how hard you are running. Consider a hat made of moisture-wicking material that will keep your head cool and also help you see in case of torrential downpours. Bonus points if it has any reflective material, which can help keep you safe.

It's easy to think that to be a successful runner, all you need are the basics. After all, not too long ago, runners didn't even have sports bras or sneakers made specifically for running. You can still consider these accessories "basic," since they can be as simple or as intricate as you'd like them to be. The end goal is to get you out on the road as often as you want, and safely.

Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.

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Written By
Tonya Russell
Tonya Russell with her hands on her hips

I’m a journalist, fit chick, and avid traveler, and I often combine the three. If I’m not training for a marathon, I’m probably hiking with my dogs or riding a horse (English style). I hail from Southern NJ, which means I’m an Eagles fan, not a Giants fan.