Monday, June 7, 2010

Dragging that Ball And Chain

When I think of speed and running hills strongly, I remember only the past me....the current me feels like there is a ball and chain connected to my ankles and I just can't seem to break free of it.

I suspect that is the payback for training and running longer distances and dabbling in ultras. I long for the old feeling of strength and speed and honestly, I better find it pretty soon as the Mt Washington race is looming .....I sure do not feel ready.

I figured having a long hill to train on would give me a chance to work on settling into a pace. There is a pretty steep hill on Route 231 in New Gloucester, I drive it every day and every time I go up it, I think "hey this would be a good training hill" It is about a mile long and pretty steep.

Thursday I decided to give it a try. I figured to run it as slow as I could to simulate the Mt Washington run. My plan was to do at least two repeats, maybe three.
The first run up went quite well, I settled into a slow pace of 12 minutes and honestly if felt relatively easy.

The problem I found was in running back down the hill. I felt I was stressing my muscles because of the grade and ran a bit faster than I thought I should. It didn't feel right (though as an after thought, it might have been perfect training for Pineland)and it seemed I was not getting the uphill workouts I needed and my heart rate was going way below recovery.

I didn't run up a second time, instead I packed up and went to my old stand by, Oakhill in North Yarmouth. It is only about a quarter mile long but is pretty steep. I find that the repeats are much harder and my heart rate doesn't bottom out before I start back up the hill again (like the long hill).

I did five repeats and I felt like I worked much harder than the mile hill run. Wether or not it is better training, I don't know but it sure felt harder. I pushed a bit more on each repeat and stopped before I was completely spent.

Gloucester hill:
(up) 1.09 miles @13.10 (12:02 pace) avHR145---max163
(down)1.22 miles @10:22 (8:28 pace) avHR130---max148

Oakhill (grade 375' in 1/4 mile):
Parked at the school and .48 trail run to the hill
1st .23mi@3:01 (13:05 pace) HR..122-136
2nd .23mi@2:59 (13:01 pace) HR..140-152
3rd .23mi@2:55 (12:49 pace) HR..139-149
4th .23mi@2:42 (11:49 pace) HR..143-155
5th .23mi@2:26 (10:59 pace) HR..149-164
Ran 5 easy downhills @appr 10:30 pace then .38 trail run back to the parking lot.

Sunday 3 loops @ backbay
1st 3.5@29:39 (8:28 pace, 7:30kick)
8:54...147-155 (stopped @1.5mi for about 20 seconds)

2nd 3.5@31:57 (9:03pace, 6:54kick)

3rd 3mi@31:54 (10:37 pace cooldown)
Overall 10 mile run (9:19 overall pace).

PS....I noticed a trend in my second miles of each loop.....HMMMNNN. I'm going look back at workouts and see if it is consistant.

1 comment:

middle.professor said...

I know what you mean about the long recovery between long hill climbs. And of course the pounding the body takes if trying to shorten the recovery! I've been using the treadmill once per week to avoid downhills in my training. I will be *very* happy to take a break from it!