6 Tips for Running in the Wind

Runners in the Wind

Tip #1: Don’t do it!!!

Okay, I’m just kidding… But after today, windy running was on my mind. Las Vegas gets some rip-roaring winds and today was a particularly gusty day. All day we have been under a wind advisory, winds have been blowing at 30-40mph with gusts over 60mph. As I listened to the winds howling and rattle my backyard gates, I was getting nervous about heading out for my run at Fleet Feet. Watching the trees bend in crazy directions wasn’t helping to encourage me. So instead of getting discouraged, I took to research!

Here are some REAL tips for running in the wind:

Runners in the Wind

Runners in the Wind – Photo Courtesy MorgueFile.com

1. Start your run heading into the wind.
This will provide more resistance on the first half of your run; then during the second half when you are a little more fatigued you can use the wind to propel you forward instead of straining against it!

2. Recognize that your pace will be different.
It is said that your pace can increase by about 5% with the wind at your back, but when you are running into the wind your pace can decrease by about 8%. (And those percentages are for 10mph winds!) Accept that… you are still getting the same workout (or a possibly better workout) at that slower pace.

3. Lean into it.
Leaning into a headwind can help deflect a little of the resistance. Keeping your shoulders relaxed will also help; sometimes runners have a tendency to lift their shoulders up when they are feeling discomfort. That’s just going to cause your muscles to tense up and increase chances of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) or knots.

4. Dress appropriately.
The wind can help dry sweat off so you may feel more comfortable, but if it is a cold biting wind, you’ll need to make sure you are wearing layers that are going to help protect you from wind chill. Here in the desert we can get some really hot winds, it’s kind of a blow-dryer effect. On these days, you just need to make sure you are keeping yourself cool, but protecting your skin against the harsh winds with lip balms and strong sunblocks to lock in moisture.

5. Hydrate.
While the wind is drying the sweat off you, it’s also dehydrating your skin. The top level of your epidermis is being zapped of essential H2O, so you’ll need to make sure you rehydrate both inside and out.

6. Protect Your Eyes.
When it’s super windy here in Vegas, there is a lot of dust and debris blowing around. That inevitably irritates my eyes and dries out my contacts. So if I’m running in the wind during the day, I make certain to wear my sunglasses. I wore my regular glasses on this run just because it would be dark and I knew my contacts would get irritated if left exposed to the winds. Several sport sunglasses are made with interchangeable lenses that include clear ones for times when you might need protection but don’t need the darkening properties.


I did head out to run at Fleet Feet tonight despite the winds. As we started out I commented, “Oh, the winds aren’t that bad now.” Stupid me… we were kind of protected but once we moved out into a very wide open area, the wind blasts were pretty fierce. I felt like I needed a weighted vest to keep me anchored to the Earth! But I enjoyed it anyway, good running!

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great tips! Lately I feel like I’m constantly running in the wind, and although I try to follow the tip about running into the wind at the beginning of the run, I always find that no matter what, it seems like the wind is coming at me from all directions! There’s no escaping running into the wind in New York, I guess. Are the winds like that in Las Vegas, too?

    Reply
    • I think the idea of running into the wind is good in theory, but I’ll be damned if I’ve ever been outside in the wind where I could determine which direction it was blowing. Like you said, it definitely feels like it’s coming at me every which way!

      Reply
  2. Thank you for sharing these great tips. I was beginning to think I was a failure after running in the wind here on this island because my run time had increased by 2 minutes. It hurt like crap running in that wind. And I honestly think it was from what you said, about running with my shoulders locked up. I’m going to try this run again and again until I get it right.

    Thank you so much again……

    Reply
  3. I run 4 times a week, but I’m building my distance back up because of an injury, which stopped me running a while back. I go for a long walk every day (on which I am not running) and, whenever I feel a strong wind is coming, I set myself up for a failure… before the next day has even happened! I think I really need to sort my thought processes out. Can you offer any advice that will help with motivation?

    Reply

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