Thanks and a tip of the barefoot hat to my friend Jason A., who, in his comment to yesterday’s post, nudged me towards doing hill repeats today, rather than my usual LSD run.
It’s a been a good long while since I’ve done a hill repeat session. Though I like them when I’m doing them, I tend to shy away from the work involved in deliberately running up and down hills, just for the sake of getting stronger. I’m a lazy runner, and am almost always content to run long, slow distances rather than train hard. I’ve only recently made my peace with running actual races, and then only by means employing a kind of mental subterfuge (arguing that I’m really only doing them because of their entertainment value).
But I digress. Hill repeats are good for runners, because they make us stronger. Stronger physically, and stronger mentally. Jason reminded me of that in his comment yesterday, but, being the gentleman that he is, kindly refrained from noting that I would be a stronger, more competent, and perhaps faster runner if I were take up hill repeats again.
So, today, I did the hill repeat thing.
My neighbourhood not being known for its hilly terrain, I use a small highway overpass nearby when the urge to run hills seizes me. So, shortly after mid-day today, I ran a 3.5K warmup, at a brisk pace, to the overpass, and then ran six hills of about half a kilometer and a 6% grade each, at the same brisk pace. The goal, according to those who set the guidelines for this sort of thing, is that, at the top of each hill, one’s breath should be laboured and one’s legs should feel heavy. Well, laboured and heavy were definitely there, and, by the time I finished the set of six, I felt well and truly knackered. But in a nice way, if you know what I mean.
Having done the deed, I then ran my 3.5K cooldown, at a decidedly relaxed pace. Arrived home, drank some Hammer HEED, had a shower, and realized that I felt good. Good to have done the hills, good to have mixed up my run schedule a bit, and good that perhaps I’m heading towards the “strong runner” thing.
And I have to admit that, for all my recent crowing about my “unstructured” approach to training, I really am in the process of training for the Dundas Cactus 10K on August 21. It just took Jason’s gentle nudge to make me realize it. 🙂