Coach Tip Tuesday: Broaden Your Definition of Good Weather
It’s time for another round of Coach Tip Tuesday!
Over the last several weeks, many, many athletes have made weather-related comments to me. This isn’t actually that unusual, but during the middle part of each of the extreme seasons (summer and winter), I tend to hear a lot more about the weather from athletes. Their comments are usually centered around wanting to do their workouts in “better” weather or wanting me to revise their schedules so that they don’t have to do quite as much (either in volume or intensity) in less-than-ideal weather.
I’m here this week to share with you what I share with each athlete who I work with: Broaden your definition of good weather.
Conditions will very rarely be ideal. The weather will likely always be introducing some level of adversity into your training (and your racing), so it’s a good practice to learn to embrace this truth. It will always likely be a little “too” something: too hot, too cold, too windy, too humid, too rainy, etc.
If you like racing, the chances are very strong that you signed up (or will sign up for) a goal event that is taking place in a season where “too” weather occurs. If you sign up for a triathlon in the summer, it is extremely probable that it will be “too hot” on race day. If you sign up for a running event in the winter, it is very likely to be “too cold” and/or “too windy”. If you sign up for a springtime race, it may very well be “too rainy.”
Though it might have felt that things related to the weather were “too” much in a lot of workouts up until his point, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you broaden your definition of “good” weather, you can change your mindset as you head into a workout (or a race) therefore set a more positive tone for how the workout will go and - more importantly - how you feel about it. I propose the following definition of “good weather” for you to consider:
Good weather is any weather that allows you to be able to train.
Yep, that’s it. Period, end of story. Truly, isn’t any circumstance when we are able to get out and do the recreational activities that we love (such as swimming, biking, running, hiking, etc.) a good one? Isn’t it wonderful that we have the strength and ability to move our bodies to help us achieve the goals we set for ourselves?
I’ve talked before about how obsessing over the weather is pretty darn counterproductive. Yet, despite the level of stress that fretting about the weather introduces into athletes’ lives, many, many athletes still do it and don’t take steps to actively reduce this worrying.
I’m here to tell you all that you are all STRONG, capable athletes who are absolutely able to execute your workouts even in “too” weather conditions. If it’s “too” something to complete your workouts as planned, know that you have the tools in your athlete’s toolbelt that you need to modify the workout so you can complete it with strength while still feeling good about what you did.
The next time you think that the weather is “too” something, pause and ask yourself if the story that you are telling yourself is true. Is the “too” weather condition actually going to make it impossible for you to do what you have planned, or is it going to present an opportunity for you to learn and grow? Try to change the story that you are telling yourself to this: This isn’t an obstacle; it’s an opportunity. I can (and will) give my best effort, no matter what the conditions throw at me.
If you can broaden your definition of “good” weather, you will find that you are able to complete your workouts feeling good and with strength. You can invest the mental energy you previously may have spent fretting about the conditions into building your athlete’s toolbox by training in a variety of conditions so you can feel good about what you are doing on a daily basis as well as be prepared for anything and everything that may come at you on race day.
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.