Should you run outdoors in the rain?

Since the beginning of this month, it has been wet and cold and raining non-stop in Singapore and we have had little reprieve from the constant rainfall.

Furthermore, on a couple of occasions too, the rain has been so bad that there have been flash floods as well. On Monday, flash floods hit nine areas in the Eastern part of Singapore and then a couple of days later, there were flash floods in the Tanjong Pagar area.

Should you run in the rain?

But for those of you who love to run, should you stay indoors during these wet and rainy monsoon days, or is it okay to continue to do your regular runs outdoors?

No issue with running in the rain

According to Dr Derek Li, 37, a general practitioner with the Raffles Medical Group and an avid marathon runner himself, there is no issue with running in the rain.

Said Dr Li, “I think in general, light rain is fine to run in, but if the rain gets too heavy or if there is thunder and lightning, then it is best to run indoors. This is due to safety reasons of poor visibility and lightning risk.”

Your body does not heat up as much

The doctor added that there are pros and cons with running in the rainy weather though.

Dr Derek Li, general practitioner and an avid marathon runner.

He said, “The main benefit is the cooler weather which makes it easier to run harder for longer in Singapore. Your body does not heat up as much when you run in the rain, so you do not get dehydrated easily and your running performance would be better. In fact because the weather is cooler, you should expect to run faster than normal to maintain the same amount of body heat.”

More dangerous 

He added, “But the downside is that it is more dangerous. Your visuality is much poorer to vehicles on the road and other users like cyclist and pedestrians. If there is thunder, then the risk of getting struck by lighting is always there.”

Continued Dr Li, “If you are caught in a thunderstorm midway during a run, look for shelter, preferably under non metallic structures. Stay away from trees.”

Dr Li runs in the rain

In fact Dr Li himself runs in the rain. He said, “I run in the rain all the time. Sometimes I wait for it to drizzle before heading out. I will seek shelter when I hear thunder and stay off the roads when the rain gets too heavy.”

If you are running in wet weather, get yourself dry quickly.

Get dry quickly though

But when running in rainy weather, Dr Li stresses that you should get dry after your run. Said the doctor, “Get dry quickly after running though, so that you do not risk catching a cold from being wet as your body cools down. But running outdoors in the rain does not increase your chances of catching a cold.”

He continued, “Rather, your chances of catching a virus increase when your core body temperature drops below normal. Our immune system is optimised to work at 38+ degrees Celsius, which is what happens to our bodies when we exercise. It is only when you stop exercising and the surrounding temperature is cold, that causes your core body temperature to drop below normal, which puts you at risk of getting viral infections.”

web counter
web counter

Share this page with your friends!


  • Valerie says:

    Just back from my run in the light rain this morning when I saw the title of your paper… got worried: should I not have gone for my run? No all good and I indeed did run faster then usual for the same heart rate range 😉

Leave a Comment