Harnessing the power of the wind

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain Can you paint with all the colours of the wind? Can you paint with all the colours of the wind?”

Seriously Pocahontas. Do one.

Pocahontas Vid

I always look like this when it’s windy out

I’ve spent the last two days getting into work on swear power alone as I toss curse words into the relentless, evil, gusting wind that always seems to be blowing me and my bike back up the one and only “hill” in the Fens. It has been flipping horrendous and I’ve hated every second of it. I’ve picked grit out of my eyes and had a massive bee barrel into my chest and have generally been a pink-haired fury.

Cow Vid

Actually, I look far more like this

So when my coach Alan cancelled our 6 x 1200m running session yesterday, I knew the weather must be bad, and to be honest I was grateful for the reprieve. We rescheduled for today as he uttered the immortal words “it’ll be much better tomorrow”. And it was. By maybe 2mph.

So come midday I texted him and asked him if I should do a pyramid session on a treadmill instead. In the past I’ve hated running in the wind, especially if I’m doing loops or track sessions. On a long distance run, I know not to fight the wind when it’s at my head, and to use it to my advantage when it’s behind me, so it feels more manageable. On the track however, every time you hit that part of the lap your stomach sinks as you know how hard it’s going to be. It’s so counter-productive as you start to dread that particular turn.

But Alan came up with a stellar plan. We postponed the 6 x 1200m, and instead he suggested 12 x 200m sprints with the wind behind me, followed by a “recovery” jog into the wind back to the start.


 The enticing view from my office window today

Now sprinting isn’t really my forte, and as the rain splattered my face I can’t say I was thrilled at the prospect of this session. But I trudged out on to the West Cambridge path on my own anyway, and as I waited for Alan to arrive I marked out around a 0.2 mile stretch nicely marked out by the paving slabs. A bit longer than 200m but it worked well.

Oh my giddy aunt it was incredible.

Although the recovery jogs were miserable and so NOT a recovery, the sprints were awesome. I felt so strong as I drove my arms back and my knees up, my chin parallel to the ground and focussing on a point ahead. My pace averaged around a 5:40 mile consistently through the session and I LOVED IT. Can I have the wind behind me on every run please?

So if you’re like me and the wind really puts you off getting out there, don’t let it. Just switch your session to take full advantage of it instead. You can thank me later once you’ve learnt to fly.

As for Alan? He didn’t make it to the session. The wind got the better of him and his bike this time.

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