Sunday, February 10, 2008

Scouting for Hills

 I ran my standard 6.7 mile out and back on Thursday (which includes about 3/4 of a mile at a 5.5% grade) in the park, and Friday was an "off-day" for running (lifting + core work + 40 minutes of hills on the stationary bike).  

Saturday was scheduled to be an easy day ahead of a 9-10 miler on Sunday.  However, Hill repeats will be coming soon and I needed to do some "scouting" in the park to see which trails might provide some good areas for the hill work.  I've already located a hellish hill of about 1/4 mile which averages about 18% w/ some parts over 25% (yeah that's fun) and I knew there was a longer hill (about 1/2 mile) where the grade is quite a bit less.  After a fairly easy 6-mile run, I headed over to that hill to check it out.  

I ran this 1/2 mile hill - which turned out to be 0.42 miles according to the Garmin, but I didn't like it - steep for a bit, then not so much and then somewhat steeper again towards the end.  The grade averages about 8% overall, but it's too variable.  That one's gonna be a NO.  

At the top of this trail there are 3 other trails - one of which begins w/ a really nice hill.  Walked up, and down - looked perfect -  about 0.2 miles at a 15% grade and pretty uniform throughout.  Ran a couple of repeats as a test drive and I think this one's a keeper.  First repeat was intended to be a pretty quick pace, the second one was more of a "bounding" effort to really stress the achilles and the quads but at a slower pace.  

What's really nice about the hill is that it is a bit steeper in the very beginning for about the first 1/3 (maybe 20% grade here) and then shifts to a more uniform 12% the rest of the way. . . I think this will set up perfectly for repeats where you're bounding up the first 1/3, or shifting the weight back a bit to get more of a "high knee" effect really working the muscles - and then sprinting up the last 2/3 at the 12% grade w/ pre-fatigued legs.  Five or six of those w/ minimal rest should just about kill you . . . . . just about - should be perfect.

Training:  Saturday - 8 miles - 6 miles @ 7:25 in the park followed by 3xhills (1 x 0.42 miles @ 8% grade - 7:20 pace)  (2 x 0.2 miles @ 15% grade - first one at 6:50 pace, second @ 7:32 pace)
Friday - lifting + core work + 40 minutes of hills on the bike
Thursday - 6.7 easy miles @ 7:35 pace

1 comment:

Grellan said...

You're right about hills - they'll just about kill you. Sounds like you found the perfect one after a bit of tyre kicking.

I've just finished a few weeks of hills - my least favourite training session. Although I was getting used to them. Good luck.