I love running in the rain. It might sound weird. But I just love it! Sure it can be hard to get out of the door. Yet, once I get started I feel like a kid splashing in puddles.
A few years ago, the 10 day weather report had rain in the forecast for the Chicago Marathon. Athletes started contacting me and asking what they should do if it rained on race day. I heard some bizarre ideas such as placing plastic bags over shoes (which is not a good idea, by the way) or running in garbage bags (again, not a recommended idea). “What do I do if it rains on race day?” was what I heard from a lot of runners. “Run in the rain,” was my response.
The week before that marathon, it snowed during our last long training run. Guess what we did? We ran in it.
It is cold in the winter. It is hot in the summer. Allergies hit in the spring. Leaves cover the ground in the fall and and make paths a bit treacherous. You must run through all of it.
We had a relatively moderate winter this year. However, there were a few cold and snowy runs that were just awful. I did 12 miles with ice pelting my eyeballs. Literally pelting my eyeballs! I remember thinking at the time that this was the part of spring marathon training that really stinks.Training for fall marathons isn’t much better. Long training runs during the summer can be hot, humid, and sticky. It certainly slows your pace down and can be frustrating.
In order to be prepared for any race, you really must train the elements. That means running if there is rain falling on the ground. Train through the snow. Be smart and hydrate and then go slow during the heat, but aim to get your runs in. Don’t skip a session because it is windy one day.
If you go on vacation in the middle of winter, go ahead and get some hot and sweaty runs in. Your body will adjust and it is great training for later. But always remember to hydrate and eat properly before these runs. It might also mean getting out of bed a little earlier in the morning, or waiting until later in the day when the sun has started to set.What happens if you find yourself running a marathon in the rain or against horrible wind gusts? By sticking to your plan and training through all situations you will run like a Boy Scout; always prepared! A prepared runner is a confident runner. You can go into your race and say, “I’ve got this!”