Conquering the “Bad Weather Blues” – Movement Labs

Conquering the “Bad Weather Blues”

I work with runners all over the world – literally.  In fact, it’s almost impossible for me to send a blanket email to them all, and have everyone receive it on the same day (as I figured out when I started writing a weekly “Wednesday Wisdom” note…ooops!).  Some of them are wilting in the strong sun of summer right now, while others are struggling through frigid temps on the East Coast of the USA.  But there’s one constant: They – nah, WE – all need a push to get out there when conditions are challenging.

This weekend served to remind me of this fact.  Singapore experienced relatively steady rain for the entire weekend – and many locals thought this was awful, curl-up-in-bed, stay-at-home weather.  [Confession: I thought this was awesome – the temps were the coolest that I’ve ever experienced in Singapore (~76-78 F, 25 C), and there was a non-stop breeze.] The streets were emptier, the buses were emptier, and the trails sure were emptier.

So this got me thinking.  I’ve run through pretty much every kind of weather (Rochester in the winter, LA in the summer, Singapore year-round), and there are a few tricks that work in any kind of questionable or challenging condition.  These are mind games that help me get my workout gear on and get outside, no matter what the weather.  I figured I’d share a few with you:

1. Adjust your timing, and convince yourself that you’re getting the best deal.  In colder months, sleep in a bit and do your workout a little later (Whoot! Extra sleep!), or on your lunch hour (Sweet – an excuse to avoid the weird smells emanating from the microwave in the lunchroom!).  In warm weather, get up early and get ‘er done (Booyah! 8 AM and my Saturday run is done!).  When there’s more daylight, you can workout in the evening (A sunset run is perfect to de-stress after a long day of client meetings.  Plus?  SUNSET.  Shazam!)  The trick is to keep telling yourself that you have the best deal around.  It actually doesn’t matter that your story will change in 6 months.

We also got fancy and did a Nuun test-on-the-run test.  Even if you dissolve an hour ahead of time, and shake well, you're still going to get a bubbly mess after a mile or so.

We also got fancy and did a Nuun test-on-the-run test. Even if you dissolve an hour ahead of time, and shake well, you’re still going to get a bubbly mess after a mile or so.

For example, this weekend, we took advantage of the cool rain to delay our run until late morning.  Usually, we try to beat the heat and be done by 9-10 AM.  But the rain gave KMN a chance to sleep in, and me the opportunity to have a phone date with a good friend from grad school.  We didn’t leave the apartment until about 11 AM.  We headed out to MacRitchie Reservoir, to run my very first full loop of this visit (~6.5 miles).

2. Dress appropriately.  I could go on and on, but essential, wear the proper gear. In brief, wear technical gear, especially in the layer closest to your body.  If it’s wet and/or windy, wear something that will afford some protection.  Watch your hands/feet, and protect your head and eyes, whether it’s hot or cold.  If you aren’t sure of the right apparel for your sport and season, then ask someone. Ask at your local running store, ask a runner friend, ask me – just ask!!!!

For a warm, rainy day, this meant wearing caps to keep the rain out of our eyes, relatively tight fitting clothes (to avoid the wet-saggies), and nothing that would be damaged in the rain.  The photos are a bit weird because I only let my iPhone out of its protective case (aka, a little Ziploc baggie) for about 10 seconds at a time.

KMN in the distance on a wet trail

KMN sporting a cap, un-baggy clothes, and his love for a good rainy day!

3. Connect with your inner child.  Puddles, snow storms, even a bit of ice – kids love it all.  The world is their playground.  Make it yours.  Of course, please be safe.  But who cares if your sneakers get soaked?  They’ll dry!  Be a little wild and crazy, and let your inner child run free.  Have fun!!

The trails were totally empty on this rainy morning (lots of Singaporeans weren’t following this advice!).  We were treated to a bit of (rare, in Singapore) disorder – a tree had fallen across the trail during the night!

Yes, it's just a tree.  Yes, we've seen zillions of trees.  Yes, we'll still pose and take photos with it!

Yes, it’s just a tree. Yes, we’ve seen zillions of trees. Yes, we’ll still pose and take photos with it!

4. You aren’t the only one!  Keep your eyes open, and you’ll surely see another, equally dedicated runner/walker/cyclist out there on a crummy weather day.  There are some pretty hard-core people out there.  Don’t you want to be one?  Speaking of which…

We did share the trails with a few other folks – but just a few. Interestingly, most of the other peopile we saw out were Caucasian.


5. You want to be a bad-a$$.  And that’s exactly how you feel after finishing a workout in crazy conditions.  In fact, the worse the weather, the prouder you can be of your accomplishment.

And there you have it, folks.  Just a few simple tricks, and you’ll be running in any weather, at any time.  As for us, we knocked off 7 miles in the rain.  They were some of the most fun miles I’ve run in Singapore to date, although I expect that they’ll face some competition next weekend.  Come back tomorrow, and I’ll tell you all about it!

Ever have an awesome rainy run?

What’s your best trick for getting yourself out the door when the weather is crazy?

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  1. […] we’ve already spent time this week on introspection and motivation.  But come on, Holly – what we really want to talk about is FOOD.  Fair enough. […]

  2. misszippy January 23, 2013 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Ha–very timely post! I did my coldest run yet this morning. It was 17 when I went out, with wind chills into the single digits. And I nailed my dressing, which makes me a happy runner (little things in life). More often than not, it’s my disdain for the treadmill that makes me get out the door if I’m ever wavering b/c of weather. And also more often than not, I’m always glad I went.

    • Holly KN January 23, 2013 at 8:44 am - Reply

      You aren’t kidding – getting properly dressed on a cold day feels like winning the running lottery!

  3. Elena Tartaglia January 24, 2013 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Beating the cold or rain means going to the gym for me. Does that count?

    • Holly KN January 24, 2013 at 7:59 am - Reply

      Sometimes ‘smart’ trumps ‘stubborn’. 🙂

      • Elena Tartaglia January 24, 2013 at 9:06 am - Reply


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