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What Should I Do Instead of Running When It’s Raining?

You’re putting on your favorite workout clothes, lacing up your running shoes, and ready to destress with a run, only to have your plans crushed by the rain. Perhaps, you take it as an excuse to cancel your workout, or you decide to just go for it. Don’t do that; accidents occur most during rainy days, so it may be dangerous to run in the rain.

Even the joys of running outside in the rain can’t beat slippery roads, wet clothes, and the possibility of catching a cold. However, that doesn’t mean giving up on your workout entirely. You just need to think about what to do instead of running when it’s raining? You can go treadmill running if you have a treadmill at home or a gym membership. In fact, a good recovery run on a treadmill can be a great option for those rainy days. Take it easy, recover, and get ready for tomorrow’s sunshine.

If running on a treadmill isn’t your jam, you can try other cardio workouts like swimming, cycling, jumping rope, or you can go for resistance training (to get those muscle gains). In this article, we’ll answer whether it’s safe to go running in the rain, and we’ll also provide alternatives you can do instead of running in the rain that’ll boost your running performance.

text: what should I do instead of running when it's raining with picture of a guy running

Should I Run Even Though It’s Raining?

Running in the rain depends on how bad the weather is. If it’s downpouring, you shouldn’t go on your outdoor run. If it’s drizzling, you can go for it, but keep in mind that your performance will likely suffer (so don’t feel frustrated when you don’t achieve those negative splits.)

Make sure to wear waterproof clothes and good traction running shoes to avoid slipping and injuring yourself.

If you don’t feel like getting wet, don’t call it quits on your run; instead, go for the second-best option, running on a treadmill. While many people don’t find treadmill running as engaging, treadmill running still has many perks over outdoor running. A treadmill allows you better control of pace and speed. It’s easier on your joints, making it perfect if you’re recovering from an injury.

You’ll need to challenge yourself while running on a treadmill to get the same benefits as running outside. When you’re running outdoor, you activate more muscle groups than treadmill running—you’re not constantly running in a straight pattern when you’re trying to dodge people on the sidewalk. To spice up treadmill running, you can increase its incline, that’ll challenge your muscles and increase your heart rate.

What Can I Do Instead of Running in the Rain?

Indoor cardio workouts are great alternatives for running when it’s raining. You can do rope jumping, cycling, swimming, HIIT, or plyometrics; just make sure to involve movements that target the same muscle groups— glutes, hamstrings, and quads—as running. Working on flexibility or recovery is also an option.

Also, you can take the time to work on other fitness goals like increasing your flexibility or focusing on recovery if you’re sore (always listen to your body.)

Another substitute that mimics running movement is walking. Walking is lower in impact, putting less stress on your joints. However, low impact doesn’t equal low intensity; you can walk and still get your heart rate pumping as fast as running. To burn the same number of calories, try increasing the intensity by walking with a weight vest; just make sure the weight doesn’t exceed 10% of your body weight.

If a weight vest isn’t available, you can use ankle weights, hand weights, or a heavy backpack. Still, it’s worth mentioning that those alternatives unevenly distribute weight, increasing your chances to get injured. On the other hand, walking with a weight vest puts the extra weight in your midsection—where most people gain weight—so you’re less likely to get injured.

What Is the Best Substitute for Running?

HIIT workouts and strength training are excellent substitutes for running. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It involves doing intense exercise followed by a short recovery period, moving on to the next. HIIT is short but effective; it takes your cardio to a whole new level, and you even keep burning fat hours after the workout.

Strength training is crucial if you are dealing with an injury. Many fitness experts preach strength training more than any other exercise because it’s the best workout to get stronger, protecting your body from injuries caused by repetitive movement. Even if you’re a cardio person, strength training will help you perform better by increasing your muscle endurance, making you faster.

How Does Strength Training Make You Stronger?

During strength training, you stress your muscles using weights, resistance bands, or even your body weight. This causes microscopic tears within the muscle tissue. As a response, your body starts repairing your muscles, making them bigger.

Having bigger muscle mass increases your metabolism, endurance, and strength, leading to better running performance. Remember to rest following training to allow your body time to heal your muscle tissues. Doing resistance training on your legs can help develop your muscles for sprinting or shorter-distance running and speed.


What should you do instead of running when it’s raining? Well, that’s easy. Rain can be beautiful scenery, but it can also be a nuisance if you’ve planned outdoor activities like running. Whether it’s heavy rain or a blizzard storm, that doesn’t mean you should call it a day on your running; just ask yourself what to do instead of running when raining?

And you’ll find many activities that substitute for running like walking with a weight vest, cycling, swimming, HIIT workouts, plyometrics, weight lifting, or you can go for milder exercises like stretching. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you choose to do; just get any movement because you will feel better and calmer afterward.

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About the author

Jasper loves to write about fitness, running, and anything else that gets him moving outdoors. He's an avid hiker, backpacker, and climber who loves to stay fit so he can make sure he's healthy enough to enjoy his favorite hobbies. He also spends time writing about his true passions in life.