RESISTANCE TRAINING: LAINEY
Running here in Tarifa in Southern Spain there are two winds: the Levante from the east and the Poniente from the west. One way or another either of these winds is likely to be blowing during the day, anything from a strong breeze to an all out gale. Hence, the popularity of kite and windsurfing all along the coast.
So, for running it means which ever way you go there's going to be a wind in your face or at your back. Running into a Force 5/6 is good resistance training. Ans so is running up the 40m high sand dunes about 12km up the coast from Tarifa which, in the wind, is somewhat of a sand-stinging experience. But, as they say, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
Before running the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon a couple of years ago, Siggy and I were training on the South Coast from Brighton to Worthing - 12 miles pier to pier. We often had strong winds from the south-west in our faces but told ourselves that it made us stronger - and that we'd never have such winds in Vegas. Right?
Wrong. At 4pm when the race started in Vegas to avoid the heat of the day even though it was November, the wind was howling with 50mph gusts funnelling through the tall buildings and knocking us sideways. It even rained a little, yes, in the desert!
Of course, when there's no wind in Tarifa there's the issue of the heat. The thermometer whooshes up and suddenly you're running with the sweat taps turned on after just a 5k.
And when you run with the wind blowing behind you, well, it's like flying. I always think of my lovely friend, running buddy and marathon mate, Wendy, who could run downhill so fast she left me staggering behind. Just hold your arms out and go with it, she'd laugh.
Wendy died last year. I would say it was after a fight with cancer but it wasn't a fair fight. She went downhill, this time, far too fast.
Miss you Wendy.
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