I know, riding and running in the rain sucks. When the weather isn’t nice no one really wants to train, but unfortunately it’s something you need to take advantage of.
Not every race will be all sunshine and rainbows. You can experience everything short of snow, so you should prepare yourself as best you can because no one likes bad surprises. My friend Andrew went into Ironman 70.3 New Orleans completely unprepared for windy conditions and didn’t make it halfway through the swim before throwing in the towel. After the race he said, “I just couldn’t do it. Nothing prepared me for anything like that.” Well, I’m sorry man, but you could have been a little more prepared had you trained in poor weather conditions.
Riding and running in the rain are not all that bad anyway. Forget the water-proof clothing; it’s just a waste of money. Get yourself a zip-lock bag for your phone (and keys if need be) and hit the road. Make sure to position the shoes you wore so they can dry out and if you can, stick them in front of a dehumidifier. As for your bike, make sure you clean it off. All of that road grime on your rims will act like sandpaper on your brakes if you don’t clean it. I’ve found the best way to regularly clean my rims is to use Windex and an old rag.
As for the swim, use common sense. It would be very good to have some kind of experience swimming in poor conditions, but don’t put yourself in any unnecessary dangers. Things that would be beneficial to you would be moderately windy conditions. The winds will kick up waves that’ll make your swim much more difficult. If you swim in rain you’ll know how it can decrease your visibility. My all-time favorite is fog. I had foggy conditions in my first Olympic and my swim map looks like a failed field sobriety test because I couldn’t sight any buoys.
So even though you really don’t want to go outside that day to train, think about how much it could help you when you need it. Just be sure to stay safe out there!