Playing in the rain: Observations of training in a deluge


There have been a couple of times where I’ve written about embracing the elements.

If I’m going to run, it’s almost always going to be outside. I just can’t do the treadmill for very long without getting bored and tired.

But there are days that severely test my resolve.

There are the blazing hot days. Triple-digit heat makes for some grueling workouts.

And then those days of biting cold. Sub-freezing temps with 20 mph north winds? Fun, huh?

And then there’s rain. I’m not talking about that light, soothing rainfall that cools you off. I’m talking about downpours. You know, the kind of rain that turns street curbs into creek crossings and dirt paths into quagmires.

Yesterday was such a day. It was nonstop rain almost all day, sometimes at a deluge pace.

The dilemma: Who will win between the rotten weather and the relentless training schedule?

The weather wins if you wuss out. The schedule wins if you suck it up and get out there.

The schedule won. So 8 miles was on tap. Eight, soggy miles.

So a few thoughts on running in a deluge…

First off, there’s no point to “dressing for the elements.” Not in that mess. Just dress like normal and accept the fact you’re going to get soaked. Get past that mental barrier and a whole load of worries go away.

Chances are, very few people are going to witness your awesome. Yeah, you’ll be proud of yourself for sacking up and getting out there. Just don’t expect a lot of people to witness it. I saw two cyclists the whole time I was out there. And no runners. If external validation is your thing, well, you’ll just have to live with patting yourself on the back.

Beware of chafing. Even if you’re wearing that awesome moisture-wicking shirt, it won’t help you when it’s soaked. Enter nip burn and running the last 4 miles sans shirt. And no one cares because there was no one out there anyway (see previous point).

You’ll get an added exercise benefit! Waterlogged shoes weigh more than dry ones. It’s like running with leg weights!

You won’t overheat. Rain is nature’s coolant. As long as you don’t mind getting really wet, you can blast out that last mile and not worry about getting too hot.

I’m having a little fun with this one, but in all seriousness this is sort of what we do when training toward a goal. Not every day can be of the bluebird variety with perfect temps and good vibes. A lot of times we’re battling bad weather, bad attitudes, injuries, fatigue or the mental drain that comes with the punishing grind of preparing for a big race.

Feel free to share your stories here. And any humorous observations.

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088


8 thoughts on “Playing in the rain: Observations of training in a deluge

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