Earlier this week, the San Francisco Bay Area finally got a rainstorm with some strength to it (we are currently in a near-drought condition, running at about half of our normal rainfall for the rainy season).
Of course, we had a track workout scheduled.
The wind was gusting up to around 20 mph, and the rain was steady. The temperature dropped almost 10 degrees from the time we showed up at the track to the time the workout ended.
When you're running along a path or road on a stormy day just doing a regular run, it's not too bad. You're constantly moving, so you can adjust your clothing and pace to be reasonably comfortable. On the track, it's run, then stop, then run, then stop. The runs always include portions that are against the wind, which means - even if you wear a hat, like I do - you get rain in your face. You get cold in between the run segments. Ugh. It is really not fun.
What's worse is that it's really, really hard - no, darn near impossible - to get any sense of pace because of running against the wind, then with it, then against it, and so on. So the workout can be very frustrating, in addition to very miserable.
But here's the bonus: a lot of your competition won't do it. They'll change their workout to something easier or even skip it entirely. If you go ahead and do it, you should know that it will put you one step ahead of the competition in terms of training. Better yet, the mental toughness you gain by doing that workout under those conditions will give you a huge leg-up. You will be in races where you are feeling very fatigued, and you'll know that it will require a lot of toughness to continue running well all the way to the finish. If you have done this kind of workout under extreme conditions like what our runners did this week, you will know (not just hope) that you have that toughness to get the job done.