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For those of you that run on the track, have you ever had to run on a windy day?
Running in the wind can be a challenging task. On one side of the track, you may feel as if you are running against a weight, pushing against you, and on the other side you may feel like you are being pushed forward at a faster pace. As a result, runners might ask, “Are there any tactics that can successfully help a person run in the wind?”
The answer to that question is YES! Based on my research and experience, I have come up with four different ways to help a runner control the wind and even use it to their advantage. These four ways include: Tucking, Clothing, Positive Mindset, and Advantage.
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Tucking in behind other runners is an easy tactic that can help a runner on the track running against the wind. If the wind is blowing towards you, then the best option is to tuck in behind the runner in front of you. As you do this, it allows the wind to hit only that runner. The wind can be a heavy factor that pushes you back, taking away some of your strength and possibly slowing your pace. Allowing someone else to “take in the wind” can save a lot of your strength to make for a faster finish.
Dressing appropriately for the windy weather is one of the keys to success. Dressing appropriately does not mean that you need to follow a dress code, but it does mean that you should choose the right running clothes wisely. Tight, form-fitting shirts and shorts are the best option for windy weather. You do not want to have loose clothes flying, as you run in the wind. Tight clothes can stay close to your body, and stay in place to allow for a better, smoother run.
3. Positive Mindset
Keeping a positive mindset is a skill that many runners develop over time to use in many different situations. However, in windy situations, a positive mindset may be the boost that you are looking for. Instead of focusing on the wind pushing up against you, focus on the positives in the race. Think about something positive to distract your mind from anything going wrong in your race.
Take control and advantage of the situation in the wind. When you think of running in the wind, you probably think about the negatives. What one may not realize is that it is possible to give yourself a little push to make you faster. On the side of the track that the wind is going the same way you are, you can use that to your advantage. Go a little faster and use the wind the push you. I think of this like a downhill run. You work hard to get up the hill, and then you can use the downhill to increase your speed. Allow the wind to take you and make you faster.
Wind is a challenging obstacle that can make or break a race. Knowing how to properly deal with it can be very beneficial and important to your run. These are all useful ways to help you run the best race possible, despite any windy condition. I challenge you to test out these four different ways to manage the wind and find the best one for you!