Distraction, another benefit to exercising in bad weather

Today, I ran ten miles in the rain at Pocahontas State Park. Before I ran, it had rained for hours. It rained the entire run, and is still raining as I write. I could have run indoors comfortably, while watching TV, but I didn’t. While running in the drenching rain, I thought about why I chose to be even more uncomfortable for an activity that’s already uncomfortable. Was it the hard-headed Marine in me? Was it my love for running on the hilly trails of the forest?

After about five miles into the run I realized it’s simply for distraction. If I ran indoors on a treadmill, I would likely have folded well before the ten-mile mark. I loathe the dreadmill! On the treadmill, ten miles would seem like ten years to complete. I always run slower on the treadmill. It always seems longer than it is; plus I hurt more while running on it. Treadmills are great for recovery, darkness, and adverse weather. Today was a warm rain, not too bad!

The rain became a distraction; the idea of running in the rain, as well as the attention to the activity. My gaze, continuously scanning for rocks and roots to avoid, my thoughts about planning for the next hill, my last mile split, my overall average pace for this run, my right arm position, running tall, etc. Plenty of thoughts to kept me distracted as the miles clicked by, and today’s bad weather was right up there near the top of the list.

I’ve been distracting myself like this for years and know that it’s been a big reason for my consistency with exercise. With the help of distraction, I get the intended workout completed and remain consistent. Consistency, I know, is the key to continued improvement. So whatever it is that moves you to exercise, keep doing it even if it’s running in the rain.

My name is Dan, and this is my blog about maintaining good health.

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