Learn to Love Running in the Mud

When I moved to rain-soaked Seattle from the dry, red-rock foothills of Boulder, Colorado, one of the biggest adjustments—besides never leaving the house without a rain jacket and buying a commuter bike with fenders—was learning how to run on wet trails.

I remember driving out to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, just outside of Seattle, for a trail run with a friend on a cool, drizzling Saturday morning. The trails were damp but passable, with the occasional puddle you had to either run through or jump over, but the slippery tree roots, like invisible waterslides in the middle of the trail, were the most problematic. I ended the run with soaked socks and mud splattered up my legs. I quickly learned to leave a towel in the car to clean up before the drive home.

It didn’t take long to realize that if you didn’t trail run when it was wet in Seattle, then you might never run. So instead of calling it quits every time it rained, I learned to love running in the mud. Getting dirty and stomping through puddles became half the fun. I don’t live in the Northwest anymore, but I still love a good muddy trail run, thanks to my time spent in Washington. Recently, while on a soggy, spring run through the woods in California, I got to thinking: There must be some way to make running in the rain and mud a little easier. So I called up some people who might have some answers for me.

Read the full story on REI's Co-op Journal.