Do you struggle to get out the door and go for a run on the days when it is cold and the rain is pouring down? Here are some reasons why you should embrace the bad weather days and how to deal with the weather.
Being a runner in Norway, especially an all-year round runner, one has to embrace heat, sun, cold, snow, rain, ice, wind, and yes, anything the weather can throw at me. If I would just go out to run on the good weather days, I wouldn’t be able to run much. Particularly during autumn and winter when it can be long between the sunny days. Oh, October to March can throw some amazing days, but also a whole lot of proper shit weather when you just look out the window and thing “do I really want to run today?”
I’ve thought myself to always answer that question with. YES I DO! Because although it can be a proper mental challenge to get out the door on those days it as all good training… I can’t choose the weather when I race, so, it’s all perfect preparation. It’s a cliché but you know the saying, no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. I am lucky that inov-8 has a great range of apparel for all conditions.
As mentioned, you can’t pick the weather on race day and should the weather Gods throw foul weather in your face, at least you are prepared both mentally and physically. You’re used to running on slippery rocks and roots in rain and headwinds, and you know how to dress to avoid freezing to ice without getting too hot. You know what it feels like to be out in really rough weather and even if you wish the weather gods would be a little nicer on this day, you won’t let a little rough weather ruin your race day.
It makes you appreciate the good weather days even more. If you often expose yourself to bad weather, the sunny days will feel amazing.
It boosts your mental strength. To run in really bad weather is to step out of your comfort zone. Regularly being a little outside your comfort zone helps to make you stronger mentally and to withstand challenges.
You get fresh air. Fresh air is good for you, no matter if it’s wet fresh air or windy fresh air.
When is bad weather actually a problem?
There are of course times when the weather is so bad that running outdoor is not really a good idea. No need to say that running in an extreme storm where you are at risk of literally getting blown away or to get flying stuff in your head, is not recommended. But usually, if you take precautions, normal bad weather should not be a problem.
Running in wind:
Is not a problem as long as you don’t run places where you are at risk of getting debris thrown at you. A good example here in Norway, falling trees! I must admit that I am less of a forest trail fan on the days. Or, if the wind is so strong that it can blow you of your feet, not a good idea to be in steep and exposed mountain terrain. I’ve done quite a lot of running in the mountains with heavy wind, and I love the feeling of the rough wind trying to blow me of my feet, but I do not run places where it would be fatal if I lost my balance. An exposed ridge is not where I want to be when it is blowing 20m/s.
Running in thunderstorms:
Thunderstorms are dangerous for the trail and mountain runner. There have been many documented deaths from such weather, so, if you can avoid it, do so. Of course, sometimes the weather can roll in and you need to react accordingly. If possible retreat to a safer place. In most cases, that means keep running to get out of the storm. Seek out a hard-topped substantial building or even get in a car if possible. The best solution is avoidance and of course, do not be tempted to think a tree will protect you.
Running in fog:
Is not really a good idea. Especially if you are running in the mountains. Not being able to see where you are putting your feet is not fun; one wrong step can be disastrous. Of course, if you are a seriously good navigator, (which I am not), running in fog might not be a problem, but I prefer to see the trail when I am running. And yes, I have been lost in fog, more than once, and I do not find it very enjoyable. The same goes for running when it is snowing and blowing heavily in the mountains. Then you can really lose track of where you are. Choosing the well-marked trails, bringing map and compass (and knowing how to use it), and not going for the more extreme courses is a good plan if you are heading out in the fog. I also use a watch (Garmin Forerunner 935) with a function that can show me the way back to where I started if needed.
Get a grip on the weather
As long as you have the right equipment and choose your trail wisely, there is no good reason why you should let the weather decide whether you go for a run or not. So instead of letting the weather get a grip on you, get the kit that will give you a grip and keep you dry and warm even on the worst days.
Want more running motivation? Take a look at my previous post about how to stay motivatet here.