Try 1 month for 99¢

The following excerpt on dealing with the wind is from Daniels' Running Formula, written by Flagstaff resident Jack Daniels.

"Of the many adverse weather conditions that runners face, probably the only one that every runner is confronted with at one time or another is wind — and if there's anything that interrupts training or racing more than wind, I have yet to meet it.

I consider myself fortunate to have coached for four years in Oklahoma, where you really learn to respect the wind. Wind is as much a part of running in Oklahoma as heat is in Florida or Arizona. You learn to work with the wind, and you learn to avoid it when you can. Avoiding the wind means running early in the morning or in the evening.

Here are some facts about wind that are important to runners:

Wind generally moves heat away from the body, enhancing cooling. The exception is when you're running with a steady tailwind that's equal in velocity to your running speed, in which case removal of air surrounding the body is prevented. The result is a loss of heat dissipation and an increase in body temperature. This can be disastrous on a warm day but advantageous under cold conditions.

Although headwinds can slow you down significantly, a tailwind of equal velocity won't speed you up to the same extent.

Running behind another runner (drafting) is increasingly beneficial as wind velocity increases, and sometimes it's good to work with a competitor under windy conditions, sharing the duties if breaking the wind. This would be especially appropriate when both runners are trying for a particular time.

Be careful in setting up workouts under different temperature conditions when you're not going around a track. On cold days, do your harder and faster running against the wind and your slower running with the wind. This way the cooling effect is kept short and is related to harder work, whereas recovery (slower running) can take advantage of the warmer tailwind. On warm days, do the opposite-run fast or hard with the wind, and run slowly against the cooling wind. This might not sound enjoyable, but it's better to spend more time being warm on a cold day and cool on a warm day than the other way around.

This strategy for dealing with the cooling and warming effects of wind also applies to out-and-back steady runs. Start out against the wind on a cold day so that the trip home will be warmer. Running with a tailwind first on a cold day can lead to some really chilly conditions on the return run, particularly if you get sweaty on the way out. The opposite applies to runs in warm weather-go with the tailwind first and return against the cooling wind to negate the tendency to overheat later in the run."

Daniels also recommends that you get someone to drive you away from home for a long run on a cold day so you can have a tail wind on the entire long run home, which can also minimize the amount of clothing you will have to wear.

About Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels is a Flagstaff-based run coach and exercise physiologist who has specialized in research related to endurance performance among runners and swimmers at sea level and altitude. His guidance as a coach has sent post-collegiate runners, from three countries, to five Olympics, and in college, resulted in 30 National Champions and 130 All Americans. As an athlete he competed in three World Championships and two Olympics, earning Bronze Medals in one Olympics and one World Championship and a Silver Medal in another Olympics. Education includes degrees from Montana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and additional study at the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Load comments