With my (and many others’) major race for the year barely 8 weeks away, it’s time to crank up the training and put in more hours of swim, saddle and run time. But when it’s pouring outside, I couldn’t help but be tempted to skip the training.
But with IM 70.3 nearing and training in the build phase, this means braving the elements no matter what.
So what do I do?
Bike. When I need to ride in the rain, I park the tri bike and head out with my mountain bike. The disc brakes, knobby tires and full suspension make it safer to negotiate wet roads. Potholes could be hiding underneath puddles of water and disc brakes provide more predictable stopping power (fishtailing on a tri bike isn’t fun, wet roads make things worse!).
If you can, invest in a mountain bike. They are the perfect ride for rainy days (plus, you don’t want to get your shiny tri steed all scratched up from the small rocks and pebbles kicked up by your tires, right?) and riding on trails during the off-season improves your bike handling skills. Even in the middle of a training season, I would sometimes take my mountain bike out to Sta. Rosa since trail riding closely mimics interval sessions on a road bike.
Run. I love running in the rain as long as there isn’t any lightning and thunder that could cook me to a crisp. I wear whatever I would on a regular day but since I blister easily, I also make sure I wear socks that don’t absorb moisture. On dry runs, my socks of choice are Wrightsocks Coolmesh. But for rainy day runs, I switch to Drymax Running Lite Mesh socks. They wick moisture away from the skin and do a pretty good job at it. Of course, they won’t stay dry if you ran in the rain. In fact, after a recent 15k run in a downpour, they were soaked and muddy. However, my feet appeared less wrinkly (you know, that raisin-like appearance after being soaked for long periods of time) and more importantly, blister-free and that’s all that matters.
I save the rain shell for AFTER my run to keep my warm and dry.
Swim. The only thing that would prevent me from swimming in the rain is lightning. Otherwise, I jump in the pool and do my laps as I would on any other day. You’re going to get wet anyway, right?
Don’t let the rains stop you from training. Just train smart and prepare for the conditions.
-Wear high visibility clothing when going out for a ride or run. Use a blinker if you need one.
-Always bring a cellphone, ID and loose change. Place these in a weather-proof pouch or a resealable plastic bag.
-Hydrate. The refreshing feeling of the rain against your skin could lead you to think you don’t need to. Hydrate as you would on any other training day.