Wind Aided Time Trials…

In track and field the effects of wind seem pretty simple.  A tail wind helps you run faster, and a headwind makes you run slower.  The rules state that a tailwind in excess of 2 meters per second will disqualify your time from consideration as an official record.

The effects when paddling are a little more complex.  A very slight tailwind can help push you along, but as the wind gets stronger, the waves build up.  Usually, you can paddle faster than the waves move, so you have to pull yourself over every wave.  It slows you down, and makes steering more difficult.  A headwind just makes everything harder.  Because of these effects, all of my best times on flatwater have been on very calm days.  The 1000m I did in 5:03 a few weeks ago was on a day when there wasn’t a puff of wind- the lake was glassy smooth.

Today was one of those rare days with a very slight tail wind directly behind me.  I warmed up and paddled 1K in 5:00 flat.  That means I’m going 4.1% faster over that distance than I was at the begining of the year.  But knowing that there was a little bit of wind to help me along means I’m not quite as excited as I might be.  How much was me, and how much was the wind?  And I still have to drop to under 4:50 to be really competitive.  At least I am 3 seconds closer…

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