How can I run well on windy days?

We talk to Jo Pavey about how to tackle heavy winds in training.

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How can I run well on windy days?

Running in a group can help if you all take a turn at the front when running into the wind and the others draft behind. Or if you’re doing a solo out-and-back run along a relatively straight route, change direction more frequently. So if you’re doing an hour, rather than going out and back for 30 minutes each way in one go, break it down into 15-minute sections.

If you’re doing an interval session, don’t worry too much about rep times; focus more on effort. To keep focused in a session when it’s very windy, I use the first rep as a marker to see what’s realistic in the conditions, then try to keep the following reps the same, but do the last rep quicker. But if the conditions are really bad, you could do some unmeasured work, such as three- or five-minute brisk efforts.

READ: Making the best of a bad workout

If you want to work on speed and reduce the impact of the wind, modify your track session to limit the time spent running into the wind (see below). But I feel I benefit from increased speed with a following wind down one straight and working harder against it on the next. Running against the wind is a form of resistance – it can help boost your endurance.

Windy day track session

This is an adaptation of 4 x 800m, 5 x 400m, 4 x 200m session. It enables you to remove a windy 100m section from the 800m and 400m reps; you can then jog across the middle of the infield to start the 200m reps from the same point, avoiding the windiest stretch.

4 x 700m (3-min recovery)

5-min rest

5 x 300m (90-sec recovery)

5-min rest

4 x 200m (with jog across the middle for recovery)

READ: How to bounce back from a bad race

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