January 18, 2016In Royal MarinesBy Sean Lerwill6 Minutes

The weather today in Devon is atrocious. Heavy rain. Flooding along the river. What we British would describe as wet and miserable.

So what do you do if you have a run, cycle, row or other outdoor training session planned? Postpone for a less rainy day? No. Absolutely not.

If you are training for a PRMC, then you should be embracing this type of weather. If you pass your PRMC (don’t forget my Pass The PRMC ebook if you need help) you will be training and operating in this kind of weather for years to come. You need to learn to be able to function in it. Not just physically, but mentally. In training you will be taught wet and dry routine in the field: a process by which you keep one set of clothes completely dry (at all costs) and one set wet – either through rain/weather or by immersion is some form of water (river, sea, Peter’s pool…). Whenever you are out in the elements, you put your wet kit back on. When in the dry (under a cover/in your sleeping bag and gortex bivvy bag) you put the dry kit on. This process keeps you alive.

Learning to be content in the wet and cold, will help you in training. For example, the Bottom Field Pass Out is tough:

  1. A 30foot rope climb with 21lbs of kit and a 10lb rifle
  2. Once around the assualt course (with the same kit) in under 5minutes.
  3. A 200metre fireman’s carry of a colleague while he still wears his 20lbs of kit and 10lb rifle and you weigh yours. In under 90 seconds.
  4. A full regain over the tank, with the same kit and weapon.

Sounds tough doesn’t it? Now think about doing it in the torrential rain. If it’s your day to take the test, it’s your day. Good or bad weather makes no odds. Hence why it makes sense to get used to training in the cold and wet now.

The same goes for a marathon runner, competitive rower or someone training for Tough Mudder or the like; the weather could be horrendous on your day. So why not train in it now. If the weather is good on the day, great, you’ve experienced far worse. If it’s bad on the day, you’ve experience it and we always learn from experience.

By training in the wet and cold, you know what sort of layering system works best for you. You learn if you tend to drink too little, as you feel less thirsty (but still require fluids). You leanr if you need to buy better trainers, with a better grip. New thermal layers. A running rain jacket etc. There is no substitute for getting out in the rain and experiencing.

A few quick tips are:

Buy two pairs of trainers the same

Wear one, one day, then leave them to completely dry naturally over the next 24hrs. Wear the other pair the next day, then leave them to dry naturally over 24hrs and return to the first pair. This process will help prolong the life of both pairs hugely. If you dry trainers on a radiator or the like. Or wear when wet, they will fall apart more quickly.

Start cold

When you go out to train in the cold and wet, start off so you can feel the cold and wet. if you start nice and toasty, you’ll be too hot within a matter of minutes, need to delayer and end up carrying things will will affect your training. A pair of running tights, shorts and a thermal under Armour type layer should be enough for most people. Perhaps a hat and gloves if you really need them.

Invest in good gear

Buying cheap gear will see it fall apart more quickly or not be fit for purpose. If you do buy good kit: look after your kit and your kit will look after you. Always wash it and dry it after every use so it stays in good service for when you need it next.

Check the weather forecast

It may be sunny now, but rain could be coming in within an hour. It’s so changeable in the UK, yet our smartphones give us information in the palm of our hands, so use it!

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Exercise is meant to be enjoyable, not a chore. if you really dread the idea of training in the wet and cold, and you don’t have a PRMC, marathon, Tough Mudder etc or the like to train for ask yourself why you are doing it! You may well be better joining a gym, adult gymnastics class or doing a martial art.