Chicago is called the Windy City. Strangely, the nickname wasn’t originally a reference to the weather but to blow-hard politicians who could talk for hours. However, we do get a good amount of wind here and yesterday was one of the windiest all year.
Running with a tailwind
It was only a 4 mile run (6.5K?) and the first 2 were with the wind at my back. Running with a tailwind is great! It feels like there is a burst of energy in each stride. It’s like floating. As long as you keep your juggling pattern between your shoulders and below your neck, even 40 mph wind gusts won’t bother you.
Be sure to enjoy the extra speed and ease of running with a tailwind. Try not to think of the fact that it will become a headwind on your way back. If you do throw one outside the shoulder/neck boundary, be ready to pick-up your running pace because you’ll have to catch up to it.
Juggling into a headwind
While tailwind joggling is fun and (relatively) easy, headwind joggling is much more difficult. In the Tampa Bay Marathon, we “enjoyed” a significant headwind for the last 3 or 4 miles. As a running juggler you’ll have to make more joggling adjustments in a headwind.
Unlike tailwind running, you can’t hide the joggling bags from the wind. You’ll have to adjust your throws. Keep them low so the wind won’t affect their path as much. Throw them forward more because the wind will blow them back. Finally, focus a bit more on the juggling than usual. Generally, I recommend that you don’t think about the juggling at all. In the wind, however, lack of focus will lead to many drops.
As for your running, accept that wind will slow you down. Just try to maintain your effort instead of your pace. Leaning forward a bit will help decrease resistance and make it easier. In a race, consider joggling behind another runner. Drafting them like this will reduce the wind you experience.
Check out this coolrunning.com article for more wind running advice.