Wind and Racing

My performance Sunday was not up to par for what I wanted to achieve- I had set a goal of running at the very least each mile <7:00; with an A goal of maintaining 6:40 pace.

Athletically, I have not put in enough effort into speed work due to babying my foot – so there is that.  If I was in a training mode/plan that focused more on shorter distances I would probably have been more prepared for this race.  

More interesting (to me) was some research I did looking into the effect of wind on running performance.

I found this article  to be particularly insightful-  so in general, while running into the wind (they used a 10 mph wind as an example) adds (for elite runners) about 12 secs/mile- you only get back about half of that on a tail wind!

This pace/weather calculator is in agreement: Run Works Pace Calculator

If I input my average pace for the entire race- (7:17), and put in what reported as the wind speed for that day (average of 13.1 with sustained winds of 23 mph)- we can see equivalent paces.wind effect(this chart is based off of the average wind speed of 13.1-  when I put in 20 mph it makes it seem like I could have run unusually fast, whereas this seems much more accurate!)

It predicts my pace as being equivalent to 6:26 min/mile with 0 wind- now we all know we are never running in zero wind- and there are usually other environmental factors that can effect performance- but it is enlightening to see that the effort level (shown by the VO2 demand) required to run under these circumstances is substantial!

So, I decided to end my pity party knowing that this race, while not being ANYWHERE NEAR my PR was:

1) An awesome tempo workout.

2) Not necessarily indicative of my current fitness

3) Badass!

In other news,  I am doing my long run today- so wish me luck!  I am not sure if I will be inside or outside- depends on what time I can get started.  (I don’t want to run in the dark!)

Try out the wind calculator!  Also, there are elevation equivalency toggles, too- I thought it was a lot of fun to play around with :)


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5 Responses to Wind and Racing

  1. I never realized it had that much impact, but I felt it on Sunday! I went out for my run and according to the NOAA the wind was! 25mph with gusts of 37! I felt like I was pushing so hard but not getting anywhere so I ended up turning around and getting on the treadmill.

    • kristina says:

      It was brutal- but as far as workouts go- probably pretty effective! Later this week I am going to do some tempo miles and I am hoping to feel spring-y-er from this!

  2. This chart was really interesting! I played around with the wind on a different half marathon I ran and calculated what it would’ve been had it of been a better day. It’s fascinating how big of a part weather plays in our day to day lives… Let’s pray for some tailwinds on 4/21!

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