Embrace the wet run in soggy August
August can be monsoon season in southwest Alaska. A few years back it rained for 19 days straight. We have three options when the rain pelts us each day: Bite the bullet and go out the door, zone out on the treadmill or try a new activity. Let’s look at each of these a little closer. Here are a few tips for those who run, rain or shine.
First, have good gear to keep you dry. Hypothermia can sneak up on you. Waterproof, loose layers that breathe work the best. Since August is usually a cool month, the prospect of being wet at 50 degrees is a distinct possibility and no fun. Misery loves company, so this is a super time to draft your running buddies to join you – they help hold you accountable to show up at the appointed time, despite the weather. Extra folks also can serve as monitors for overexposure to the elements. Your longer outings will definitely require extra calories, so pack treats along with adequate fluids.
If you registered for a race in August, plan on rain. If it turns out clear and sunshiny, you got lucky. Still, prepare to have the resolve to accept the conditions, no matter the weather and it will make the day go so much better. Road races can actually be fairly swift in the rain because it’s cooler. Trail races are another matter with plenty of chances to slip and fall or find a submerged hazard. Running in the rain will definitely build mental toughness. You know nature has tested you, so race day you are ready to execute your plan.
Treadmill training on rainy days will ensure a stable platform to do your speed work. There is no risk of excessive exposure to the elements, so make the most of these sessions. Avoid making this your exclusive go-to training tool because one never knows what race day will throw at you, and testing yourself and gear in the elements minimizes performance anxiety come race day.
Now, step totally out of the box and venture into the world of multiple squats with power gardening or metal detecting. Hey, if it’s wet, it is easier to dig out weeds or treasure. Both are alternative forms of cross training suited very well for the saturation days of August. When the ground is wet it’s always easier to probe for weeds or treasures. Why do these activities over any other besides running? It keeps you fresh. Running every day in the rain can be tiring. Mixing it up just a little can keep you fresh for the main event. The dryer days of September are just around the corner with colder temps that bring a whole new set of challenges for the year-round runner. Just think of the old Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid song, “Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head.” Paul Newman and Robert Redford just rolled with it. So take it one day at a time, rain or shine. We’ll never stop the rain by complaining. Until next month…
— Keep striding and smiling, Coach Mike