For some runners, windy weather can be quite annoying. For others, it's just a challenge, to be dealt with as an obstacle that can be overcome. However, it would be foolish to ignore it, especially in stormy winter months.
We've all experienced the effects of running in the wind. It can definitely make a difference. As well as the wind chill factor, which I definitely don't enjoy, there is the obvious fact that it can slow you down or help you along depending on how it blows. I'm fairly sure that most of us gladly accept the benefits of a tail wind. So, this article will look at suggestions for coping with less generous scenarios.
6 Suggestions for running in the wind
1. Dress for the wind
A blowing wind can be uncomfortable against the skin. General coldness and added wind chill factor (the effect of causing the temperature that the body feels to be lower than the actual temperature) are the 2 main considerations. Good running attire will provide extra comfort and protection.
Wear clothing that covers as much skin as you feel necessary to stay warm. Long sleeves, leggings, running gloves and scarves are all good options. Don't overdo this. Your body will warm up quicker with the extra clothing. If you can, wear good quality clothing with wicking to prevent over-heating.
2. Run in a group
Running with others offers the opportunity to use other members of the group as a shield against the wind. Obviously, we suggest that you take your turn at the front of the group. This can also be a good race strategy, helping you to preserve your energy.
3. Run somewhere that provides shelter
Use surrounding structures to shield yourself from the wind. Depending on where you live, this can be anything from a row of shops or houses to the edge of a forest or mountain range. Parks and running tracks can be good options, often being surrounded by trees, fencing and related buildings.
4. Embrace the opportunity for training
Running into the wind is tough. This can be ideal for building physical and mental stamina for difficult races.
As long as it's safe to do so, getting out and facing the wind will develop your stamina. Many of us will run races where some miles are tougher than others, especially as the finish line nears. This is where any extra stamina will help make a difference.
5. Use the wind direction to your advantage
When training in the winter months, run into the wind when heading out, and away from the wind on the way back. This will reduce the wind chill effect on the second half, allowing for a warmer end to your run.
6. Use a treadmill when necessary
Few runners enjoy training on treadmills. However, if the wind is too severe it makes sense to play it safe and head to the gym. If races are being cancelled this is definitely a worthy option.