Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Wind – friend or foe

Heading out for my interval workout this morning, I was faced with the prospect of being stood up straight by a serious head wind.

Most runners hate a head wind and love a nice tail wind. Who doesn’t?  

Now, I have never been overly excited about running into a strong head wind but once I get my head wrapped around the benefits, it can certainly make the effort extended a lot more palatable.

But before talking about running in the wind, let’s talk about an example of "not". Or as near “not” was one can get without being in a vacuum.

The best example of “windless” running that comes to mind is tread mill running. The common belief is if you are running on a tread mill, you need to bump the incline up one or two percent so the effort equates out evenly because you are not moving through space and thus you don’t have the resistance of pushing the air aside.  Of course now, that I have said this, I can totally see someone setting a huge fan in front of their tread mill and turning it on “super” high to create their very own wind tunnel.

However, once you step outside, the elements and especially the wind can have a huge impact on your running.

So once I moved past the idea of having to face the wind on every repeat, it wasn’t so bad. I found myself a nice long straight road in a neighborhood where the wind was blowing constantly from one direction.  Sometimes in neighborhoods, the wind can swirl through the houses to create a head wind one instance and a tail wind in another instance.

Then, for whatever interval session that I have I run the intervals into the wind and recover with the wind at my back. Yeah, it is tougher to run a workout this way. It is also slower, but it could also be argued that it makes you stronger. Now, you are not only pushing the air aside as you are running but you have a steady resistance pushing against you that you have to cover come. Given time with this type of training, you are body will begin to adapt to this and grow stronger.

A second benefit to doing your workouts into the wind is better race day preparation. Once you face something during your training period, the task of facing it on race day seems less daunting. Mentally, you have already overcome the most difficult part which can likely separate you from your competitors.

Either way, add a wind resistance workout to your training tool box. While it may not be your fastest workout ever, you can rest assured that the workout will be a strength builder.


See you on the roads,

The Cool Down Runner





No comments: