Garmin’s recent Running Power app/data field threw a bit of a curve ball…it included WIND in the calculation. STRYD and RunScribe don’t do that. Well, at least not yet.
STRYD apparently have had a plan to include it for a while.
Let’s put to one side that Garmin are using a dated, offline weather forecast to generate the wind component of their live power calculation and let’s put buildings to one side too. Garmin’s wind value might have some value on open land in relatively constant wind conditions over an extended duration.
Anecdotally I know that my running pace drops when I run into the wind. I really don’t like it. There is that pesky, physical effect of the wind thrown in my face by physics and, in my case, there’s also a demotivating psychological effect from the conditions. I’m not quite sure how I ‘d quantify the latter but Mr Daniel’s had a go at quantifying the former:
Wind Calculator for running: http://runsmartproject.com/calculator/
So my first strategy is to run behind someone else. Drafting. When in a large race with lots of people or when running round a track in a confined space close to a few other runners then I’m not quite sure how the generic effect from a weather forecast’s wind would handle that.
As the wind speed increases, might the effect of drag from my clothes or drag from me being taller than you play a factor? Drag. Cyclists know that the drag effect gets worse the faster you go. The same principle applies for strong winds I would have thought – there will be another one of those pesky physics formulae there for that too somewhere.
Have a think about these points raised elsewhere by Coggan.
- The wind speed in the weather report is NOT measured at ground level and will be lower in reality than from the weather record.
- The actual energy required to overcome wind at the speed RUNNERS move is relatively small. There was a 1970s wind-tunnel/treadmill study done on this, no doubt wind has changed significantly since then in this digital age. 😉
Coggan (who comments further below) says we are talking about less than 5% impact on pace/energy cost, even for fairly strong winds. That’s a relatively small amount but it IS noticable…for you cyclists (or existing power runners!) then 250w would need to become over 260w to make similar progress in windier conditions (don’t forget drag and psychology)
To be frank. I don’t really care about the details of the science behind it all. I just want to know what to do with the numbers.
My rule of thumb is to scientifically up the power ‘a bit‘. Up the power a bit when going uphill and, if I can, up the power a bit when going into the wind. In cycling an acceptable measure of variability, if trained for, might see your Normalized Power not exceed 5% of your average power.
You can use STRYD or RunScribe or Garmin Running Power and a bit of ‘paying attention’ to keep to that extra 5%ish. For extended periods of running into a headwind you might also, shock horror, use your heart rate too as a means of moderating effort.