How "workout warping" winds taught me to abandon stubbornness
I have made my running coaches proud more times than I can count throughout my life.
But, those moments of pride did not come without the educational moments of disappointment.
Here is one disappointing mistake that looks so obvious in retrospect.
It involved a "workout warping" mistake that I made when it was windy.
It happened during an early season track workout in February, one of the windiest months of the year.
The workout was pretty simple: 12x 200 meter repetitions on the track.
Each 200 meter repetition should be completed in around 30 seconds.
We had been prescribed this workout many times in the past.
It is a classic "early season" test to get our bodies used to a little speed. We wanted to complete the 200 meters fast, but not too fast.
About 1/3 of the way through the workout, the winds started to whip.
Some of my teammates wanted to reverse the repetitions on the track so were weren't plowing head first into the wind during every run.
I, being a sucker for familiarity and rigidity, told them no. We are going to run the final 8 reps just like the first 4.
So, we put our heads down and we plowed into the wind.
Some of my smart teammates wisely slowed down after a few reps.
I stubbornly hit the times just as they were prescribed and the workload increased dramatically.
I didn't know it at the time, but doing hard repetitions into the wind can increase workload by 20% or more.
I think the increase was around ~10% that day, so it may have been equivalent to running those reps in 27-28 seconds instead of 30 seconds.
Well, the result of that workout may not be all that surprising...
I was aching the rest of the week.
The coaches weren't happy when they learned that I essentially "ignored" the winds.
A much smarter choice would have been to slow down and run according to effort instead of times.
I would have known that if I had a Stryd at the time.
I could have easily peeked down at my watch to see my power output on those straightaways into the wind.
Stryd would have reported the extra effort of running into the wind and I could have slowed down accordingly until my effort lowered to an appropriate output.
I may have completed the workout that day as it was written on paper, but the "workout warping" effect from the wind basically cost me an entire early season training week.
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