How many times have you looked out of the window before going for a run and thought "Oh no"?
The weather can have such an impact on us physically and mentally when it comes to running but we can use that to our advantage.
I've been there many times during marathon training when it's either been freezing cold, really hot or torrential rain and thought to myself I really don't want to go out in it.
The thing is when it comes to race day I'm pretty sure no one ever said "Oh its raining, I'm not going to race today".
No matter what the weather is doing on race day we will be there at the start line. The various experiences I've had are during Florence marathon in 2018 it rained the whole way round. At Newbury Half marathon earlier this year it was the same weekend as storm Ciara.
It's so much better going into race day knowing that you can handle any type of weather conditions because you've already trained in it. The last thing you want is something else to worry about.
The whole point of doing the training is to get used to everything, not just getting your body ready for the speed and distance. You need to practice things like:
- Fuelling strategy and how it changes under different conditions, i.e if its hot you'll need to take on more fluids.
- Different types of kit, if you always wear the same thing in training will it be suitable if weather conditions change on race day?
- Getting your mental game prepared for potentially running in strong winds, high temperatures or being soaking wet.
The goal is to be able to get to race day knowing there is nothing that's going to catch you out. It's hammering it down with rain, no problem I've trained in it. It's really hot, no problem I've trained in it. It's super windy, no problem I've trained in windier. Instead of looking out the window and thinking "Oh No" we should be looking out and thinking "Yes! it's raining, I can test some stuff out."
Here are a couple of things I've learned over the years, these are things that have worked for me. They may work for you or may not. It's all about the trial and error and finding whats right.
Running in the Heat
Go at a steady pace and don't push too hard. Make sure you're hydrated and have eaten. Even if you're not a fan of running while carrying water take a small bottle with you. You'll soon get used to it. Know when to stop if it's getting too much. If you keep pushing too hard you'll do more damage than good.
TOP TIP: WEAR SUN SCREEN
Running in the Rain
Don't wear too much, eventually it will all get wet and become heavier. It'll most probably start rubbing in certain areas too. At the end of the day skin is waterproof and the less you're wearing the quicker you'll dry. If you have long hair wear a hat or tie it back. There's nothing more annoying that your fringe bouncing into your eyes on every single step.
TOP TIP: TAPE UP YOUR NIPPLES
Running in the Cold
Again don't wear too much, a couple of layers will do. Once you get going you'll soon warm up. If it's snowing or icy be careful of your footing and slow the pace down. If you need to stop mid run don't stop for too long as you'll get very cold very quick if you've been sweating.
TOP TIP: A NECK BUFF PULLED UP OVER YOUR FACE HELPS TO KEEP THE COLD WIND OFF
Running in the wind
There's not much that can be done about this. Only that it will help your mental game if you do a lot of training in the wind. It's the same as hills. You have to dig in and work hard but at least you know if it's windy (or hilly) on race day you can handle it. Plus remember at some point the wind will be behind you and you'll be flying.
TOP TIP: RUN BEHIND SOMEONE (DRAFT)
The good old British weather will always give you plenty of options to train in. Use them all to your advantage. That way if conditions are perfect on race day you'll most probably perform even better than you expected.
* I made up this statistic but you'll agree with me if you try it
Fire Officer from Birmingham
Age group: 40-44