Rainy Day Tips on The Trail

Rainy Day Race at Mount Marami
Rainy Day Race at Mount Marami

The weather, be it sunny or rainy, is among the conditions we need to manage in the trail.  That’s the beauty of the trail, it can give you a whole new experience when conditions change.  We’ve collected some tips when you are running in the trails on a rainy day.

Trail Running in the Rain

Running in the Rain at the Valley Trail Challenge
Running in the Rain at the Valley Trail Challenge

Be ready for anything when you are in the trails. It’s a wilder playground.  Elevation becomes a roller coaster ride.  Trail surfaces vary with each stride.  The weather can go on a full 180 degrees turn from Sunny to Rainy.  Even on rainy days, the trail transforms to a different challenge but at the same time, there are ways to get past it. Here are some trail tips to get you past the rainy trails.

Always Expect the Rain

Even on a sunny day, rain can suddenly surprise you on the trails.  In terms of clothes, go with lighter dri-fit clothes. If its a colder trail area like Baguio or Tanay, better also add some arm warmers and rain jackets.  It’s also important to waterproof your phones, bring a zip lock or have a sturdy plastic bag you can use to protect your stuff when it rains.  It will save your gadgets and let you focus on the trails.

Assess the Trails

Slow down! Take time to appreciate the different surfaces and several items you can hang on.  For trail surfaces, go for more solid surface like small rocks that can break your momentum when you slide.  Grassy areas are a lot more solid than muddy paths. Check on twigs, grass or rocks you can hang on to on slippery trails. Use trekking poles, if you have one as it will help you add balance on slippery trails.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Mud

In cases of muddy area, just go for the the flatter areas. Sometimes, it would be safer to just go over mud paths than take the slanted trails around mud formation.  You’ll get more mud but it would avoid you falling off a slanted trail surface. Sometimes, you just have to slide on your butt on the muddy descents but just watch the trail surfaces for any sharp rocks.

Take it Slow on the Descent

On dry days, the descents is just a fun area to start speeding up. On wet days, it’s a lot tougher. Take it slow and plan it like a chess game.  Project your steps 3 to 4 steps at a time so in case you’ll slip, you can easily make up for the imbalance on the next step.  When you fall, just be ready to cushion your fall.  It’s part of the challenge.  Check if there are twigs, grass, rocks, trees, branches that can break your momentum on the descent.

Don’t Panic on the Climb

Sometimes you slide downwards on the climb. That’s normal and don’t panic.  Check your environment and try to always utilize safety supports.  Always have one or both hand on the lookout for added support like trees, tall and sturdy grasses and large rock formation.  Crawl your way, if you must.  It’s also best to go with a good shoe traction or use trekking poles.

Run as a Pack

It does help to run as a group since you can help each other on the tough parts.  You can calm yourself on the difficult parts and you’ll have more stories to tell on the long trail.  It’s also your safety net in cases of injuries or accidents.

Go Steady on the Rivers

Take the river a step at a time and check on the river surface. Be alert and stand up when you slip. Don’t panic. Assess the environment and the depth of the river. Check the currents and try to avoid areas with strong currents.  It also is good to help each other on the river crossing.

Enjoy

Though it’s a tougher trail on the rainy day, learn to enjoy. It’s refreshing to the body when it rains.  Run like kids but always take precaution.  It’s definitely a unique experience and it will make it an epic memory after surpassing it.  The trail can really give you a lot of experience. The rain changes the rules of the game but it doesn’t mean you can enjoy it. Have fun on the trails.

Suggested Gears

Let’s go over the suggested gears in running on the rainy trails.

  • Fully Charged Mobile Phone – To contact people in case of need.
  • Hydration Bag – To ensure you can re-hydrate on the trails.
  • Whistle – To call the attention of marshals and fellow runner when you need assistance.
  • Bib for Races – To help identify that you are part of the race.
  • Gloves – To protect your hands when you hang on to ropes, grasses, twigs, rock, etc.
  • Gaiters – To minimize foreign debris especially mud entering your shoes.
  • Trekking pole – To help you on the ascent and add balance on slippery trails.
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Post Author: Franc Ramon

Franc Ramon is a Marathoner, Mountaineer and a Duathlete. He has adopted the fitness lifestyle since mid-2010 and loves sharing them in his personal blog http://francramon.com . While he’s not on the trails, the road or on an adventure, he spends his time in the finance field.

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