Wednesday was supposed to be the regularly scheduled FastTracks track night but the circuit was in use by another group who were doing blood lactate measurements.
Therefore our coach decided to let us do some hill workouts on a nearby street. Whoopie!
Given that I had cycled there up those very same hills I had an idea what we were in for. They aren’t too steep but they are long and winding (cue Paul McCartney).
Initially we jogged gently to the bottom of the hill where the coach gave us a talk about hill runs.
He said that unless you are training for a hilly race you don’t really need to incorporate regular hill work. Although, if you find you pick up injuries running on tracks for speed then hills are a good alternative.
The aim was to run the hill at two mile pace, less 15-30 seconds. We were going to do half mile up and then jog back. Key to recovery is taking small steps on the way back down so you don’t over stretch you muscles, making the return harder.
To ‘warm up’ we ran up the hill slowly to get a measure of what was in store. Then we were told to repeat that seven to eight times! Yikes.
After jogging back down and leaving my bottle at the bottom of the slope, we started the run as a large group (20 or so) but this quite soon thinned out as people fell into their pace groups.
There is one guy in the club that is a real jack-rabbit and he was flying up the hills using three gears; 5k pace, 800m pace and finishing at 400m pace. I could not do that. I did get to chat to him towards the end and to see some of his techniques. Good stuff.
However, by the end of seven reps I did actually finish in second place. Hurrah! By this point I had been ‘lapped’ by our rabbit but only on the last interval.
I then had to ride home from the workout which had run slightly long. By the time I got home it was well into dusk and I’ll have to take lights next time. All in all I rode 25 miles and ran just under six with hills so not a bad days effort.
Come Thursday morning and my regular scheduled run and I had very little oomph left in me. I still managed to get out and do a 3.7 mile run (with some more hills because I’m slightly mad, I guess) but it was a struggle and I only averaged an eight ten pace but picked it up at the end for a 7:08 finish pace. Now to rest for a day.