We’ve had some pretty crappy weather recently what with Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis. All that rain and wind can be a real downer on any training especially if you have a long ride or long run planned and know you’ll be busy on a different week.
In the UK I always say if you hand around for the weather you’ll never get any training done! But that doesn’t make it any easier. So here’s a few of my tips that have helped me to stay motivated and get the training done.
Plan Ahead: If you have a challenging session to do that you know would be affected by bad weather the first thing to do is be prepared for it! Start checking the weather a few days ahead you have the opportunity to develop a strategy and make a plan.
Make a strategy!! Develop a list of things that might help you. Be creative, don’t rule anything out, try everything, think of old tried and tested things and new things and ask people you know for suggestions.
Finding a friend to train to do the whole session with.
Ride or run loops and finding a friend to do part of the session with.
Chunking, break the session down into manageable chunks with a focus or a reward for each chunk. This could be an off road chunk, a park chunk, 30min sections, a jelly baby for every mile. A different album for every 15minutes….etc.
Something to listen to e.g. music or podcasts. For my last 3hr run before my Ironman I asked my friends for podcast recommendations and tried some new things which I really enjoyed and made the first hour of my run go quicker.
Ask an experienced runner or triathlete that you know for their tips on dealing with bad weather and how bad it has to be to make them stop going outside.
Switch to an indoor session. Or if you can’t face that how about half indoors-half outdoors. Doing a 3hr run on a treadmill could be pretty tough mentally for a lot of people but doing 2hrs outdoors and 1hr indoors could be an option. This is a great strategy as it stops you from feeling beaten and defeated by the weather.
Do a shorter but more intense session. Do your long sessions on a different day.
Look at your clothing and think about running loops so that you could change a top, socks or even get some dry shoes. On a long wet ride I always like to have a dry hat and buff while my husband always has dry gloves.
Review the kit that you have. Does it do the job it needs to or do you need to invest in something warmer or more water proof.
I spent one winter freezing and feeling miserable, until I realised my cycling jacket was a bit old, thin and baggy and after I bought a new one I couldn’t believe what a difference such a simple thing made. Other kit I wouldn’t do without for cycling are waterproof socks and waterproof gloves
Run or ride loops that aren’t so far from your house. That way if the weather is too bad or you get too cold it’s easier to get home. It also gives you the opportunity to test it out and see how bad the weather really is. A shorter route with loops and options to extend or take a short cut also makes the session feel less intimidating.
Remind yourself what the purpose of the training session is and what your goals are. This can often help to get you out the door even on the worst of days.
Check out your self-talk and what you’re saying to yourself. Is it negative and self-defeating? Is there anything you could change to help? Are there any other mental strategies you could develop to help deal with the crappy weather? In the end sometimes you just have to stop thinking and just suck up the suffering. It’ll make you a better, tougher, fitter, stronger athlete!
I bet you have some good, bad and funny stories about training in crappy weather so do get in touch to share!
For more tips on training in the cold and dark click here.