Friday, 15 May 2009

As Wind Goes, So Do Workouts

I'm experiencing a bizarre phenomenon at the moment. It seems my mood fluctuates with almost direct correlation to wind strength, by which I mean that influenced by the coriolis force rather than my own digestive system.

The emergence of the British summer has, typically, coincided with extremely windy weather which has a deleterious effect on running times. I always took it for granted that the effect was relatively negligible, but eureka! I am finding that on a circular route it's adding at least 20 seconds a mile to my running pace. Not hitting my running paces with the correct perceived effort has long been a source of frayed nerves and prior to my moment of obvious enlightenment the neighbour's cat was being kicked regularly.

However, "through knowledge comes understanding" and I've discovered some research on the effect of wind on workouts (I already know the effect of wind on girlfriends, explained in my published paper "The Effect Of the Dutch Oven on Long Term Relationships"). According to coach and physiologist Jack Daniels in wind of 15 mph the energy demand is 17% greater than calm, whereas a tail wind reduces energy cost by just 9%. Another of life's natural "kick you in the nuts" formulae.

None of which will be any consolation to the Hasidic jew out on his bike (replete with black suit and side curls) who tried to interrupt my wind-affected tempo workout around Grafham water. Don't be surprised if you ask a bad tempered, red faced runner in oxygen debt not hitting his times what the noise is (referring to the bird scarer guns in the nearby fields) and get the answer "the Palestinians are coming".

Not in the best of taste, but good taste isn't my thing as many will attest.


  1. With your tennis it seemed straight forward to have the rankings as a general goal, do you have any goals for the running?

  2. Thanks for posting.

    In fact it's more straightforward for running (at least this year) as my goals are clock related. I will post more details in future but these are the time goals:

    1500m: 4:06
    3k: 9:00
    5k: 15:50.

  3. It's difficult to find the olympic qualifying times for those events - any ideas?


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