Running in the wind.
Yesterday I completed my last long run before the Boston Marathon. I had 14 miles on the schedule with the last 6 miles to be run at marathon goal pace. Piece of cake right? This distance was much shorter then some of my longest training runs so did I need to worry? Typically the answer would be no but I woke and checked Weather Bug dismayed to see a weather alert. It was going to be partly cloud with 50 mile per hour wind gusts. Say what?!? Not only would the wind gusts drop the temperatures significantly into the single digits but the win speed was definitely going to affect my pacing. Rather than to pull the covers back over my head and to go back to sleep I decided to tough it out and get out there. P.R.’s are not made by taking the easy way out.
The weather has been so great this training cycle that I haven’t had to do much layering up but today would require winter running gear to stay warm and to block some of the wind. I wore three layers on top including a windbreaker, a neck warmer that could be pulled up over my face and ears, wind-blocker gloves a hat, and long running tights with compression socks underneath. I could have used thicker tights as my legs were pretty cold as I ran and I tend to get hive like welts on my skin on super cold days (allergy to the cold?).
This run was definitely one that builds character. It was not easy. I was running an out and back and sadly the headwind was on the second part of my run. I didn’t mind the tailwind too much during the first seven miles however the wind gusts felt like they might knock me over at times and brought and almost frostbite chill to my cheeks. The temperature felt like 6 degrees! Brrrr! I am hoping Mother Nature just needed to get this weather out of her system before marathon Monday! I ran through our little village and got to my turn around point dreading the wind on the return home. It wasn’t the miles that I feared but the wind gusts that were causing the flags throughout town to stand stiffly out straight in the wrong direction. Today there would be no other runners to run behind as wind-block. I hadn’t been this uncomfortable on a run in a long time. The wind gusts made me feel as though I was running backwards and the cold was plainly “Nasty.” I felt discouraged and contemplated ways to catch a ride home with a friend who lived nearby.
I pushed through the negativity, and did my best to drop the pace whenever possible. I knew I needed to get the work done. I continued on my way and decided that even if I didn’t hit my pacing my training cycle had been great and this would be my last long run until I would make my way to the starting line in Hopkinton. I focused on form and pushing through the wind. The miles slowly ticked down until I reached the last big half mile hill before the last mile. Knowing I was in the last stretch I pushed onward and dropped the pace for my last mile to between 7:05-7:30. I was so happy to be home. I was exhausted. Running in a stiff wind and the cold can really zap your energy. I was so happy to be done with this run and to get into a hot shower.
Now, only 2 weeks to go until the Boston Marathon! EEK!!!!!!
Tips for running in the wind
Running in the wind got me thinking about tips for running in the wind as this is something that every runner will deal with.
Here are my best tips for running in the wind:
- Add an extra layer. Running in the wind will drop the temperature so you may need that extra layer to stay warm.
- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Even though the wind may cause you to feel cooler and less sweaty you will still be losing fluids. Don’t get tricked into thinking that you don’t need to drink as much.
- Running in the wind will cause you to expend more energy so make sure that you are well rested otherwise it might make more sense to head indoors and to hop on the treadmill.
- Lean into the wind a little bit. You will waste less energy.
- Take turns running behind a friend to take a break from the extra effort needed when running into the wind. This is what cyclists do when they are drafting!
- If you can try to run in the headwind first and take advantage of the tailwind on the way home.
What are your best tips for running in the wind? Please share them here.
Run like the wind!