Runner vs. Nature: Wind Blows

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dorothyLately, I’ve begun to feel like Dorothy. Don’t be mistaken, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of glittery shoes, and if I had a dog it would definitely NOT be purse-sized and named Toto. But, like Dorothy, this spring I’ve become an innocent girl caught in the hands of a powerful and frustratingly invisible force of nature: Wind.

As a runner, there is a list of reasons as to why the wind rubs blows me the wrong way. But I promise that I’ll keep the negativity under control by offering a few solutions amidst my long list of grievances…

scottwind1. The wind kills my momentum.

Running is strenuous enough as it is; we really don’t need strong gusts working against us. And how does the wind always know to blow in the wrong direction??

  • Tip: Try to run in sheltered areas, such as urban neighborhoods or wooded trails. Avoid tunnel-like stretches of road and valleys.
  • Tip: See wind as a training tool. You’re getting stronger as a result of the increased resistance.

2. The wind wrecks my time goals.

Because the wind is a force working against you (often), it requires more energy per mile, meaning your time will most likely be slower than usual.

  • Tip: Don’t fight it, and don’t get discouraged. Remind yourself that this ONE run does not define your running career, and relax to avoid spending your mental energy on your frustration.
  • Alter your training schedule so that your tempo runs or time-trials line up with cooperative weather or utilize an indoor track if possible.

woman-407208_6403. My new bangs don’t get along well with wind.

I know that this is slightly trivial (and easily solved) but still, it’s true!

4. The wind makes me cry – literally.

A strong breeze and the dust it carries can create a bad case of teary eyes.

  • Tip: Protect those eyes by wearing sunglasses. Running sunglasses are lightweight and durable, with excellent grip on the nose and ears due to the use of sticky materials that repel sweat.

5. Strong winds can come with dangerous surprises.

At times, wind speeds can raise to levels that surpass being merely annoying. Tumbleweeds, tree branches, and pieces of dirt or rocks can be carried by the wind and pose a great threat to you as a runner.

  • Tip: If the wind is over 30 miles per hour, stay inside. Being injured by a flying branch is just not worth it. Try running on a treadmill or doing some cross-training, such as Pilates or Plyometrics.

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