‘Tis that time of the year when we ask ourselves if we shall be mice or men, trying to decide if it’s worth running in the torrential rains. My parents told me that the day I was born was exactly like today and my father had to carry my full-term preggy mother and wade into the Manila floods to get inside the hospital. I have always seen this as the reason why I can brave the inclement weather, and find myself enjoying the raindrops hitting my face while my feet go squishing inside wet running shoes. Unfortunately, I am human too, and there are rainy days that seem unconquerable and my mind would simply tower over my spirits to demand a Plan B.
And so I’ve put together some of my favorite Plan Bs to remind us that there is life after missing your road-run today.
- Treadmill Running is always a good option. It’s actually an excuse for me to use my wireless MP3 player and pretend I belong to the digital age with my 180bpm playlist. However, since TM running is “assisted running” (remember, the belt underneath your feet moves along with your strides), it always helps to simulate road-running by adjusting incline and cranking up some speed. I like doing some speedwork on the mill; 4 minutes on fast speed followed by 1 minute active rest with slow speed – for an entire hour.
- Best time to Work Out! Again, an hour of a variety of work outs can actually summon those endorphins to appear. Since I don’t go for gym memberships, I frequent You Tube as it offers so many plans from cardio and HIIT to Fitness Blender, with choices of time and intensity. I usually start the hour with 20minutes cardio, then graduate to 20minutes of weights or kettlebells then do the final 20minutes with abs and planks. Talk about a great sweat here!
- Spinning in a gym bike offers more or less same cardio output as TM running, except for the ground impact on running muscles when one runs. To fight boredom, spice up the drill with intervals of varying resistance and really push for at least 70% heart rate. I find that easy spinning even for just 10minutes after a roadrun to be an effective active recovery for my calves,as it practically alleviates some soreness on the spot.
- Take it to the Stairs. This used to be one of my favorite cardio exercises when I got injured. My condo building has 11 floors; I would walk all the way up, then take the lift at the 11th floor to the ground floor, and repeat for 30minutes. I just hope you get used to stares from people wondering why you have to make it so hard on yourself!
Ultimately, losing a day (or two, or three) of running may sound crazy to my fellow lunatics, but both theory and experience tell us, that we would rather be “undertrained” rather than “overtrained”, impacting an upcoming race. So relax…..
Detraining (or deconditiong) also doesn’t happen fast,depending largely on your fitness level. Instead of feeling the blues on missing your planned running workout, get that pencil and adjust your training schedule. There IS a time for everything and the rains.
Personally, it would take a storm to make me opt out. I just have to make sure I am sufficiently-geared: quick-drying, well ventilated shoes and apparel and a cap or visor on my head to facilitate visibility. And oh, do not forget the cardinal rule to hit the showers immediately after the run, to prevent chills.