Ugh. It's raining outside, it's dreary, just things are not ideal, right? It's not summer anymore, I got my pants on, it's getting cool out here in the sunroom, so thanks for joining me. But all of these things are kind of putting a downer on your day, right? And you're like, “I don't really want to go run. Oh, it's nasty outside. Why the heck do I want to do this?” Well, I'm Jessie funk, and on today's episode of runner's high I'm going to give you five reasons it's actually really good to run in bad weather.
Hopefully that voice inside your head is not too much like that complainy voice I gave you at the beginning of this video. You really want to try to quash that as much as you can, because that negative voice is going to make things harder for you. And if you don't know about negative voice, you don't know about all of these mental attitudes, subscribe to the channel, hit that button, the bottom in the right-hand corner, stick around with me, I talk a lot about how your mind affects your performance as a runner and just as a person. So, you want to stick around with me here on the channel.
Now, I want to talk about running in bad weather. There are a lot of things that go into our mental talk that says, “Oh, I don't want to do it. It's uncomfortable. It's wet. It’s cold. It's windy. All of these kinds of things.” Maybe it's snowing, I don't know where you are, what season it is, but there are all these factors that go into our excuses to not go run in “ bad weather”, but there are five good reasons that it is great to run in bad weather.
Number one being the thing I preach all the time on this channel. Number one is being able to get comfortable being uncomfortable. That's a big mental skill so that you can put yourself in a situation where you're uncomfortable, not unsafe, important to note that, uncomfortable. It's a little cold and it's windy, you know, I'm uncomfortable, but I'm not unsafe. So, you know that, hey, there's not lightening, anything like that, don't run in a thunderstorm. But you know, it's not ideal conditions, it's not 70 degrees on a beach with a piña colada in your hand relaxing, okay? It’s maybe 50, raining, windy, and you're just not going to stand out in that weather if you have to.
But when you go out and get your run in any way, you're getting comfortable being uncomfortable. You know it's not going to be perfect conditions and that's okay, you're training your mind to be stronger, to deal with the discomfort, and that comes into all kinds of forms with running, right? When we go harder, when we go out in bad weather, when it's just plain windy, even on an otherwise perfect day and the wind is pushing against us, whatever it is, when we deal with that discomfort, when we deal with those things that make us uncomfortable, then we grow mentally as people to deal with these things, and that translates into the rest of life.
But specifically in running for number two, it prepares us for race day. So, you may have heard me say before or seen somewhere else, “Nothing new on race date.” There's another way to say this really is practice makes perfect. And the idea is that we have practiced our routine over and over and over so that we are ready for the things that we can't account for. When something small comes up, it's no big deal, we adjust and then we're back on track. If you only train in perfect conditions, then when it’s race day and it's terrible outside, it can throw you off your game.
I saw this a lot as a young runner in high school my first couple of years, if it was raining, if it was muddy, all these kinds of things, people would just melt down, they'd have terrible races. And I thrived on it because I would do as determined that I was going to say, “I love running in the rain, I love when it's muddy, I love when it's terrible outside” and I wanted to live on other people's suffering. Now, this is a little bit exaggerated, I wasn't this crazy Machiavellian character, but it was my mental way of coping with it and saying, “ these things aren't going to bother me. They're going to bother you, but I'm not going to let them bother me. I thrive on them.”
And there's something to be said about having this positive mental attitude. It's sales like hokum, right? When you say to yourself, “I'm going to do this. I'm going to enjoy it.” It is much easier to actually enjoy it because we have an association with these positive words like love that we don't have when we say hate. There's these associations in our mind when we use these words that help frame our state of mind for what we're doing.
There is a coach— I wish I remembered the story, because I'm just thinking about it off the top of my head, famous well-known college coach who coached his team to a new national championship. And he did it by taking his team who was almost there and brought them to practice where they had to say, “I love Hills” and every single time they ran hills.
Now, it was something that had been a weakness for them before, and they learned to get stronger and stronger at it, both because they're actually doing it, but also because they are framing it in the way of saying “I love Hills.” So, there's a positive association. And lo and behold, they go to the conference meet, it is a hilly course where other people are going to suffer because they want to avoid the hills, they went flat and fast, not hard, difficult hilly slow courses. So, when you frame it that way, then you can deal with things and be ready for race day because you practiced it ahead of time.
Along with practicing for race day is really a skill that comes into practice or play for every single day, and that's my number three tip, practicing focus. When you're out in the bad weather there are a lot of different distractions, the cold, the rain, the wind, dogs barking. Whatever it is that's getting in your head, they're distracting you from how you feel when you're running.
So, being out in the bad weather is one way to practice focus, allowing yourself to only kind of turn inwards. Think about how do you feel internally, how do your legs feel? how do you lungs feel? where am I? Getting in tune with your body and letting those things or distractions fall away where it's no longer a concern that I'm getting rained on or it's a little cold, how's my body feel? Am I a little stiff? Do I need to slow down? Okay, now we're starting to warm up, we can go a little bit faster.
All these kinds of things, this ability to focus is critical to getting the most out of yourself, but not just in a performance sense, also in an injury prevention sense, because if you're not in tune with what's going on and you're not focused inward about what's happening with your body, then you're more likely to push yourself past a point that you shouldn't go because you're not paying attention to the signs and signals.
And there's a difference between being uncomfortable and being ready to break, and it is not easy to discern. Sometimes I will miss it. Even the best athletes will miss it. But it is easier to pay attention to when you have practice at focusing.
Number four, and this is really my preference, but probably your preference too. When you go out and run in the bad weather you avoid the treadmill. The thing about the treadmill is that it can be boring as hell, right? You're in the same spot, time just goes so slow if you're not used to doing it, even if you are used to doing it time can drag on because we don't have the extra sensory input of what's going on around us.
So, even if you go out and it's cold, and I like to refer to those it’s kinds of time dilation when it's cold, you're a little uncomfortable, it seems like time takes a little bit longer, it's not going to be the same as the amount of time that it takes on the treadmill, your perception of time when you're running in a single space.
Avoiding the treadmill also has other benefits in that if you only run on the treadmill you simply don't have the same kind of propulsion that you're going to on solid ground, your muscles are going to work slightly differently, and if you're not switching things up on the treadmill, then you can be more injury prone as well. I cover this all in another video.
So, as before, if you haven't subscribed to the channel, I do talk about how to get the most out of a treadmill because you can use them to your benefit. But if you're just using them for bad weather, then you're avoiding some of the other positive things that can come out of that bad weather.
But that all kind of leads to my fifth and final point, the good reason to run in bad weather, and that is consistency. If I preach anything on this channel more than anything else, it is consistency. If it's bad weather outside, you don't have a treadmill and your tendency is to say, “I'll do it tomorrow.” Well, what happens when tomorrow comes? Sometimes you get it in, but sometimes something else comes up, then you've missed that day, you lack consistency.
And I don't care what coach you talked to and what sport it is, as long as we're talking endurance, and maybe even any sport, but consistency is key in progress. If you're not consistent, you won't see consistent progress. It's as simple as that.
So, maybe you go out in bad weather and you do half the run. There's a saying that I like to go back to from
So, you can make that bargain with yourself on that bad day and say, “Maybe instead of five miles I'll just go out for a mile, get something in today.” Put some kind of tick on the calendar instead of a big zero. We don't want goose eggs, right? And then once you're out and you do that mile, you probably start warming up, you probably start feeling a little bit better. I'm already out, I might as well keep going. Let's do another mile, two miles in. Well, we're already almost halfway, can you get to two and a half mile? Okay ,we’re at two and a half, we might as well just finished the run as intended.
So, when you go out in bad weather you keep that consistency and that is momentum that brings you more towards your goals, the things that you've set out to do, and helps you enjoy when you actually go out to race and you want to have a good time, you've gone through the suffering already so that you can enjoy race day with everybody, the adrenaline, all that kind of stuff.
So, those are my five good reasons to run in bad weather. Am I missing anything else? Are there any other good reasons to run in good weather? Leave them down in the comments below, let me know what you think. And I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.