Last night was my pace run for the week, moved from Saturday to Wednesday to accommodate for my 5K race this weekend. The temp was in the high 40s but cloudy and a medium breeze. Telling my tired legs that everything would be alright because tomorrow is an extra rest day, I made a promise to myself (and my legs) to go hard but not crazy; especially because Tuesday’s 4M averaged a 6:38/M pace.
Now, after last Wednesday’s run—wherein the wind managed to crush my pace and cut my stride—I have been thinking about how to best run into a headwind. Do I just keep my pace and accept that the mile will be slower, do I push harder (and thereby exerting even greater amounts of energy to simply maintain a particular time), is there a smart way to run into the wind using minimal effort and obtaining maximum results? Any suggestions or strategies you have discovered?
Well, I didn’t have to wait more than a mile before I was faced with a headwind and forced to put my philosophizing to the test. I decided the smartest way to run into the wind is to stay relaxed and slightly increase the effort (say a 3 to 10 second per mile effort increase) to try and neutralize the wind. And it seemed to work, keeping my splits close.
My splits went: 6:23, 6:47 (hw), 6:49 (hw), 6:51, 6:55 (hardest mile of route), 6:52 (second hardest mile of route), 6:53, 7:03 (hw), 6:35. Average = 6:48/M. In a perfect run, I would have kept mile 7 under 7 minutes and slowed down my last mile by about ten seconds.