Monsoon season is here and its unpredictable nature can wreak havoc on us as endurance athletes. We, as triathletes and cyclists, are Type-A creatures of habit and this weather is enough chaos to give us an ulcer. And with big races coming up in September, October, and November, we have no choice but to train through it. However, with enough thought and planning, we can minimize the effects of the monsoon on our training. Here is how.
Plan Your Week With the Weather
I know that during monsoon season, the weather forecast is a moving target. The forecasted sunny day always ends in a hail storm and that sure fire 100% rain forecast often ends up being a cool, overcast and dry day. But the weather forecast at least gives us a starting point. If your key brick workout is on a day that is forecasted as the next great flood but your off day is the only clear day all weak, switch them up. Anticipate that most monsoons come in the afternoon so plan on morning swims when your swim days are on stormy days.
Have a Backup Plan
To combat the unpredictably aspect of the monsoon, have a backup plan. Throw a set of old running shoes and workout clothes in your car. If its storming after work and the pool is closed, head to the gym and get a light weight or plyometric workout in or even head out for a run instead. Having a backup at the ready for when the weather bites you will save you a lot of trouble.
Sport Specific Thoughts
Swimming- Swimming is the workout most likely to be affected by the monsoons. With monsoons come lightning, thunder, and pool shutdowns. As mentioned before, most monsoons are afternoon affairs so get your swim done in the morning to reduce the risk of missing your work. Unfortunately, swimming is about the only workout you can't do during a monsoon so it comes down to get it done early and have a backup plan.
Cycling- Cycling in monsoon season comes down to confidence.
-If you are nervous about the rain, plan to ride before the rain. Head out with a planned "escape route" if it does rain, such as the fastest way to get to the river path or a shortcut back to your house. Riding in the rain is not particularly dangerous, however drivers can sometimes be a bit sketchy in the rain so the river path is a good escape.
-If you are a bit more confident in riding in the rain, wear clear glasses and a cycling cap (the bill of the cap keeps the water from slipping behind your glasses). After the ride, pack your shoes with crumpled newspaper to dry them quickly.
-Head out for a mountain bike ride. If it is just drizzling or if you missed your ride due to a storm earlier, strap some lights on the fat tire and head to the trail head. Just avoid the trails during and after extraordinarily heavy storms as riding in those conditions can lead to trail damage.-If there are large puddles or gravel/dirt on the road after a storm, stay relaxed and go in a straight line through it. Swerving violently to avoid it is more likely to cause a crash than just going straight through.
-Ultimately riding in the storm season comes down to being relaxed, confident, and prepared. (and don't forget to clean your bike so Ken doesn't have an aneurysm).
Running- Running is by far the easiest workout to get in despite the monsoons. Heck, you can make it your go to backup workout if you can't swim or ride. A few thoughts for running in the rain.
-Wear a visor to keep the rain out of your eyes
-Run someplace like the river path or Reid Park. The asphalt is much less slick than a concrete sidewalk and you are away from traffic.
-For the clumsy among us, trail running may not be the greatest idea, but for the more surefooted, trail runs in a light rain can be magical. Just be aware that rocks become slippery when wet (I learned that the hard way... a few times).
Now get out there, give mother nature the evil eye, and enj
Retul Certified Bike Fitter
Note: If you use google chrome as your browser you must have the add-on installed in order to subscribe to this RSS feed.
Go to: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/rss and install RSS Subscription Extension (by google).