Last Saturday evening I looked up the weather conditions for the next day. I needed to know what to wear for my thirty-mile run. I never questioned whether or not I would actually run, just what to wear while I did it. I laughed when I saw it. Rain, rain, and more rain. There was a 90% likelihood of rain from six in the morning until nine in the evening.
I went to my running clothes dresser (yes, I have so much running gear it has it’s own dresser). I pulled out my long pants, extra gloves, and rain jacket. Of course I was going out, even if it rained the entire time. And wind, I was sure there would be wind on the island. I don’t think the rain comes to the island without the wind.
I’d run in wind and rain before. Salt Flats 100 consisted of approximately 20 plus hours of wind and rain and lots of it. Thirty miles in the rain wouldn’t be a problem. Anyway, I am staring down a one hundred miler in just under two weeks. Conditions could be just as bad or worse on race day. It’s always good to have some difficult runs under your belt going into a one hundred, so when you have to dig deep to get through a tough section of the race, there is something to hold on to.
Runners run in all types of conditions, unless they don’t. Some runners choose not to run if weather conditions are not at their standard. If you run ultramarathons this is a bad strategy. It’s bad strategy for a race of any distance.
One hundred miles is a long way to go and a lot can happen during that time, including rapidly changing weather conditions. This is true for running relays which last for twenty-four to thirty-six hours. We’ve all heard the saying, “There is no bad weather, only bad gear.” I think this is true for the most part. You do need to have the right gear to run in severe weather conditions and if it’s really bad it only makes it bearable. But bearable is better than not being prepared.
Running in different weather conditions should be a part of your training plan. It’s just as important as mimicking the elevation change and terrain of your race. Ideally, race day will not throw out any situation, which you have not already had to deal with at least once, and hopefully more than once.
When one of my runners tells me it’s raining or cold or whatever outside, I tell them, “suck it up, butter cup.” If the complaining continues or is echoed by another runner, they get the classic, “nut up or shut up.”